Mike's 5 gallon Pico (1st SW/Reef)

Discussion in 'Member Tanks' started by money88, Apr 11, 2017.

  1. money88

    money88 Well-Known Member

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    So I picked up a Fluval Evo 5 gallon while I was out picking up a Fluval Spec III for my girlfriend about a month ago. I have been keeping a small log so I will be posting what I have so far over a bit of time and then continued updates as I continue to progress. This is my first attempt at saltwater and a reef so please bare with me and offer and tips or suggestions; I have been reading like crazy absorbing as much information as I can.

    I also know that starting with such a small tank makes my first attempt at reefing more difficult but I am up for the challenge. I am already in the progress of putting together a 40g breeder as well but I haven't gotten around to cutting the tubing for my bean animal overflow yet. At least I have already drilled the tank and installed the overflow just not the tubing yet. Hopefully this endeavour with the 5 gallon will give me some insight and lessons that I use as I continue to learn.

    But back to the 5 gallon, , I created this thread to track my progress and share my experiences. Any ideas, suggestions or comments are extremely welcome. I am currently going to running the evo pretty close to stock and seems so far so good.

    My tank has been wet for 1 month and 10 days so far and I am learning so far every day of it. I have the bug and I am loving it so far. I have been taking on planted freshwater tanks up until now but I have always wanted to move into a reef tank. I also have a 2.7 gallon planted, 3 gallon planted, 10 gallon planted, and 30 gallon that I enjoy playing with those tanks as well.

    Tank Specs:

    Possible Tank Upgrades (in the future as needed):
    • Aqueon 600 to replace stock pump
    • Lighting (either Current USA Oribt or TrueLumen Aquatic LED Strips as an addition)
    • Hydor 240 / Hydor 180 (needed if I go to Aqueon 600?)

    Current Inhabitants:
    • 1 Candy-cane Pistol Shrimp
    • 1 Cleaner Shrimp
    • 2 Nerite Snails (1 was killed so far by the pistol :()
    • 2 Astrea Snails
    • 1 Florida Ricordia
    • 1 Duncan Coral
    • 1 Small Zoa Frag (Bam Bam)

    Inhabitants I am thinking about:
    • 1 small Clown
      • (this would most likely only be temporary as a mature clown would have to high of a bioload; I'd make sure to have my 40 Setup and running prior)
    • 1 Yellow Watchman Goby or Yasha Goby
    • Corals still new so looking for beginner ideas
    • Other ideas for a fish instead of what is mentioned above?

    My ro/di unit on my counter next to one of my small planted freshwater tanks.
    [​IMG]

    Grabbed some of the dry rock I purchased for my 40g and was seeing what kind of scape I wanted[​IMG]

    Original Stand Getting the tank wet
    [​IMG]

    I started with 2 pieces of live rock that was only out of water for about 5-10 minutes prior to putting it into the tank. Here was the original aquascape that I started with
    [​IMG]

    I quickly noticed that the stand I had the tank on may not be enough support so I went out and picked another stand up and did a little rearranging of the aquascape. This picture also shows my first coral my florida ricordia.
    [​IMG]

    Here is a closer look at the ricordia. I picked the ric and my pistol shrimp up the same day and they were actually my first inhabitants
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Here is a closer look at my pistol shrimp, this was actually the only time I have seen him, but I continue to hear his snapping so I know he is alive. I knew he would hide a lot but I really wish I'd see him more because he is so awesome. Hopefully if I get a shrimp goby he would be a little more fearless and venture out of his den during the day.
    [​IMG]

    I will post another update today trying to get caught up with my current progress. I have to dig up some pictures and look through my own log to recollect exactly what has happened and the timelines of that. I know pico tanks aren't always the favorite on these forums so hopefully I don't get bashed people can still appreciate the tank. I plan to be responsible and not intentionally stress fish or other inhabitants.

    So stay tuned!

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2017
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  2. Zoarium

    Zoarium Well-Known Member ETRC Member

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    Looks like you're off to a good start! My girlfriend has the 14g EVO, we both love these tanks. Where did you get the INTANK media basket from?
     
  3. money88

    money88 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! The Fluval tanks are pretty awesome AIO kits for Freshwater, glad they have made a saltwater alternative. Even though I will eventually upgrade the light the stock light is good enough for some simple corals which makes it a great kit for a quick setup.

    I purchased the inTank Media basket off of Amazon actually because it ended up being cheaper than buying it from inTank's website due to the prime shipping on Amazon. It looks like they are about to release a version for the 13.5 gallon here is a link
     
  4. Zoarium

    Zoarium Well-Known Member ETRC Member

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    Sweet!
    Question: What's next on your purchase list?
     
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  5. money88

    money88 Well-Known Member

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    Well before anything I will be picking up another coral or two. I am really debating on which I want to get. I liked the look of hammers or torches but was reading that they have some sweepers and I need to be really careful putting corals with sweepers in a tank so small as I don't want to agitate other corals.

    In terms of equipment I plan to buy either the Aqueon 600 or a small powerhead to increase the flow in the tank. I may try out the Aqueon 600 first because with some slight modifications I can fit it in the back which would keep the main display clean looking. Worst case the Aqueon would be too loud for me since this tank is at my bedside; in which case I don't use it and I am only out about $20. Or if the new pump didn't provide the flow level I was looking for I would pick up a small powerhead eventually as well. I don't plan on running extremely high flow in the tank and due to the volatility of such a small body of water I most likely wont make an attempt at SPS corals due to the ease of temperature fluctuation.

    As a side project I am also creating an aquarium controller and monitor using a Raspberry Pi and Arduino. The Piand Arduino will monitor the temperature and turn the heater on and off when necessary (already working and keeping the temperature within a degree throughout the day). It will also manage and control my custom built ATO that will use float switches and optical sensors. There are other features that I plan to incorporate as well and I will provide small updates on that progress as well as I make them and add them into my tank.
     
  6. revhtree

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

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    Nice little reef!
     
  7. Zoarium

    Zoarium Well-Known Member ETRC Member

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    Sounds like you have a great plan moving forward. Will follow along to see this reef progress. Nano reefs are neat when done right!
     
  8. money88

    money88 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks!

    Thanks, I try to do all the research I can to provide for anything I plan to house. Awesome to see some interest with the smaller tanks.

    Well some more updates!

    As I said I would continue with another update today to try and catch up to where I currently am at so here it goes.

    This was my entry from 3/13/2017
    I added to new inhabitants yesterday making my current list of inhabitants the following:
    • Randall Pistol Shrimp (Candy Cane)
    • Green Florida Ricordia
    • Bam Bam Zoanthid
    • Duncan (didn't ask what the designer name was)
    Here is a bit of a timeline as to what has been going on. Last Wednesday I topped off the water to compensate for the evaporation that occurred it took only a few small cups. I am usually gone for the weekends so I like to do a tank check on Friday before leaving for a few days. Friday I decided to test the water; the readings were 0.0 ammonia , 0 nitrite, 10-20 nitrate. With those readings I decided to do a 40% water change. I ensured that the salinity of the new water was the same as my tank (currently 1.024) and the temperature as well then I siphoned out some water and used cups to put the new water in. Taking salinity readings again after the change the tank still read 1.024 so that was a plus. Since this last weekend was the first weekend that I was going to be gone with some actual inhabitants in the tank I needed to run to home depot and pick up a small $4 analog timer to control my lights. Unfortunately with this timer I am unable to run a blue -> white -> blue light cycle because of the touch interface used within the stock lighting. So instead I just ran a 10 hour white light cycle.

    I have been spot feeding the Ricordia every other day and leaving some extra for the Candy Cane. When I was doing the 40% water change Friday I noticed that I have some bristle worms that hitchhiked on my live rock. From what I was reading I saw that they aren't harmful and their population will depend on the excess food in the tank. So at the time being I decided they weren't worth the trouble of getting rid of even though they kinda do creep me out.

    With tank parameters looking better after the change I headed out for the weekend. I like to stop at the LFS up near the Chicagoland area because they have much better prices and inventory. Grabbing the duncan and the zoa on Sunday I asked for a slightly larger bag with oxygen and water to make sure they traveled well over the 2 hour drive. Once I got home I started the acclimation process of the new corals and noticed that the tank had some evaporation in those few days so I threw the heater on the RO/DI water I already had in a 5 gallon container to prep it for the tank. I then put the corals and the RO/DI water into the tank. Initially placing both coral plugs in the sand to let them become a bit more accustomed to their new home. Also because I don't have any epoxy or super glue to mount the corals anywhere else yet. I was looking at picking up some BRS Extra Thick Gel Super Glue as the reviews seemed pretty good. I picked up some diamond coated blades for my Dremel to remove the bottoms of the frag plugs

    I think that I will eventually put the zoa on the right rock and maybe let it spread, while I leave the duncan in the sand from what I was reading if I decide to spot feed the duncan it will have some pretty awesome accelerated growth and they don't seem to mind the sand. Hopefully in the next day or so they will fully open up under the white light, like they seemed to do last night under the blue.

    I am also excited to eventually get a shrimp goby but I know that patience is a virtue in the reef eco system so I just want to take everything slow and steady. When I finally get there I was looking into the Yasha Goby or the Yellow Watchman Goby but I wasn't sure if the YWG was too big for the 5 gallon, I guess I will have to do some more research. In the meantime I was looking at other inverts and was thinking of grabbing a cleaner shrimp and/or snail. Hopefully my pistol wont bother them; I've read it is usually a hit or a miss but the pistol will usually only bug them if they get near his cave.

    Custom controller update:

    I am currently working on a custom controller to monitor and handle a few of my day to day things for the tank. I have been tinkering around with the Raspberry Pi a bit and gaining quite a bit of knowledge on circuitry. I ordered 5 float switches, a DS18B20 Temperature Probe, and a Raspberry Pi camera. I am currently working on creating a 4 socket outlet with relays controlled by the arduino / raspberry pi. My work on that was halted until I received some more parts to properly mount the relay inside of the socket housing. Ideally, my plan is to have the temperature probe monitor and record temperature and control the outlet that the heater is plugged into to turn on or off the heater in case the internal thermometer in the heater fails. Another outlet is to be used for light control replacing the cheap $4 analog timer from home depot with a more sophisticated lighting schedule. The last planned outlet right now is to control an ATO pump that will be flipped on and off by two float switches (1 in the bucket and one in the tank, possibly more for redundancy).

    In the mean time I have been getting Apache setup on the pi to run a web server so I can control and monitor all of the components in real time from a web interface for ease of mind when I am away for the weekends. As well as utilize the raspberry pi camera to have a 24/7 live stream of my tank that I can check to make sure everything is going well or just to look at / show off to friends. I will keep putting updates on the tank and the controller in this thread but really the controller is being made as more or less a beta test for a similar one that I plan to use on my 40B when I finally get that up and running.

    So here is a better full tank shot after I redid my aquascape
    [​IMG]

    My live rock came with a lot of little critters such as bristleworms, spirorbids, some micro feather dusters, and Vermetid Snail's (which I have I think eradicated from the rockwork).

    Here is the first vermetid snail that I found on the rock, I removed it with a tweezers
    [​IMG]

    And here I noticed the spirorbids I was extremely worried my rock was infested at the time
    [​IMG]

    Two weeks after adding my ricordia and pistol shrimp I bought a small zoa frag (believe the designer name is Bam Bam zoa) and a duncan coral. Here they are right after I put them in the tank all closed up getting used to their new environment.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And here they are all opened up after only about an hour in the tank!
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Additional Updates since that entry

    Controller:

    So since that entry I have gotten my controller updated to work with my outlets and control them on demand. I have also setup quite an in depth website that allows me to monitor temperature currently and view a live stream of my tank. Well that is before I went ahead and fried my Pi by hitting it with a single drop of water. New pi arrives today so that will be back up and running tonight.

    Tank:
    My little pistol has been busy carving out a little place in this rock to call his home. He has dug out all the little holes in the rock and burrowed quite a bit below the rock as well.
    [​IMG]

    On March 17th I saw my first signs of algae crop up in my tank.
    [​IMG]

    I waited a few days before I decided to take a tooth brush to it and get as much as I could manually off the rock prior to doing a large water change. Seemed to work quite well but to date I have seen it slowly come back and I need to make another scrub, and I am thinking about adding a little phosguard and try to figure out why it is happening. Everything I read says try to find the root cause to prevent it instead of just continually fight the problem.

    March 23rd Entry:
    So Sunday I went and picked up a few CUC at least to get me started because I realized I bought a pistol and didn't even grab any sort of CUC. I bought a cleaner shrimp and 3 Nerite snails. I think I will be getting a few more snails soon, even though my Nerites I keep finding upside on the sand.

    Today's testing leaves my overall tank testing at 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, 0 nitrates, 0 phosphate (picked up a phosphate test kit as well), 1.024 salinity, and 8.2 PH. I topped my water off yesterday because the salinity jumped up to 1.026 due to evaporation. I am getting pretty close to getting an ATO system setup need to order a small pump but waiting on a soldering iron to build a PCB board to wire my arduino / pi setup to. I will send updates when I get that setup!

    So after adding the cleaner shrimp the Duncan seemed to close up for quite some time, I think it was due to it not being used to getting touched by the cleaner as often as it was. Since then in a few days already it has been staying open quite well unless the cleaner like pounces on it which happens when I try to direct feed the duncan. The cleaner is ruthless when I am feeding putting its arms all the way up the pipette trying to grab the mysis. I also am sure to burst a small amount into the pistol shrimps cave b/c otherwise the cleaner will just go crazy.

    After adding the cleaner and snails I have heard A LOT more snapping from the pistol when the cleaner gets near its cave entrances. But he seems to be holding his own, hopefully he is still coming out at night to get some food but I can never see him so I am not quite sure.

    I also bought some chemi-pure blue nano bags and phosguard in case, that I haven't put into the tank yet. I am still currently running the stock filtration which is a foam block with first carbon then biomax. I have to figure out which two would make sense to run or if I should just move forward with creating the egg crate media rack.

    I also pulled out the nicer camera with the macro lens in an attempt to shoot some better pictures so I will give a mix between some cell phone and macro pictures below. Bare with me as I am still learning to use the DSLR.

    The cleaner shrimp:
    [​IMG]

    Zoa:
    [​IMG]

    Duncan:
    [​IMG]

    That is all I have for now. I think in one more update I will be all caught up! We will most likely see that update tomorrow. Hope you are enjoying the history a little even though it has only been about a month. I feel like it has been so much longer learning as much as I have already in such a short period of time. I still have so much to dive into and it is awesome to share my adventures with fellow reefers.
     
  9. money88

    money88 Well-Known Member

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    Last Entry and we are caught up!
    Sorry for the abnormal amount of pictures and overload of information but after this we are all up to date with my latest on goings.

    April 9th
    I have been doing the normal maintenance and doing quite a bit of work on my controller software as well as my other freshwater tanks. Did a complete tear down and re-aquascape of the 10 gallon tank. I need to swap the front swords for some different foreground plants but this is just what I had on hand.

    Here is an image for those interested. This is just a low tech setup no CO2 or anything of the sorts. I dose Flourish Excel once weekly. The plants in the tank are Swords, Bacopa, and Anubias.
    [​IMG]

    Well back to the saltwater, last week I noticed I have some sort of pods I couldn't quite identify exactly which ones so I am hoping its the good ones. I haven't seen them eating the corals or anything so that is good so far. Here is an image of those pods can anyone identify?
    [​IMG]

    I also noticed yesterday that some coralline algae has started to grow on the back wall. Very small amounts so far and I haven't scraped it off yet because I don't know if I wanted to let it spread a bit on the back wall or not. People say that is a good sign that I have appropriate amounts of calcium and other elements for corals so that is a plus! I am doing either weekly or biweekly water changes and ensuring to top off when necessary to keep the salinity in check. It is a never ending cycle with such a small tank.

    So some information about my inhabitants. I picked up 2 Astrea snails who are doing a really nice job keeping the tank clean; meanwhile one of my 3 Nerite snails was killed by my pistol shrimp and his shell was used for a door at his burrow entrance. The cleaner shrimp started to worry me a little as his antenna were getting a little brown over the last few days but today I came home to my first molt. After seeing this I snatched the molt out of the tank with a pair of tweezers so it didn't contaminate the water any. (Which I have now been reading that a lot of people just leave the molts in the tank. Let me know what you do)
    [​IMG]


    The pistol shrimp I have still only seen once haha but I continue to hear his snapping when the cleaner gets too close for too long, so at least I know he is alive. Other than that the 3 corals I have are doing really well, the ric has really opened up and I can already seen growth, the duncan continues to show me its awesome colors and the zoa as well. I did swap the location of the duncan and the zoa because I had to move the left most rock a bit closer to the middle rock so it was further away from the left and back glass panels. But even after the move they both seemed to open up quite fast and weren't to upset about it except a little slime from the duncan while I was actively touching him.

    I just got a diamond coated Dremel blade in the mail so I may give cutting the frag plug a try and gluing my first coral this week or weekend. Other than that the tank so far has seemed pretty stable (*Knock on wood*) so I was going to pick another coral up this weekend then realized it was Easter so I will have to hold off until the following when I travel.

    I picked up some phosphate and calcium test kits as well but as I have done more and more research I think that was unnecessary for such a small tank. The phosphates usually wont read out much because if there is excess you are going to see it in algae and the calcium I don't have to test for at this point or at all with such a small tank as long as I am doing regular water changes. Plus the coralline is a good indicator.

    In other news I am kept quite busy managing my 2.7 gallon planted tank that has a carpet of Hemianthus Callitrichoides (Cuba) which if you have never had this or are not familiar with it, it really is amazing looking but needs constant trimming and then it's a pain to get all the tiny clippings. I also as I mentioned just re-did the 10 gallon I have here and have been maintaining the 30 gallon and 3 gallon at the girlfriends place as well both planted. I just love the natural look and feel of plants and corals to much to go with the artificial stuff.

    Does anyone have any suggestions for the next frags I should get? I don't want to venture down the SPS path yet especially since this tank doesn't have the flow necessary and the temp swings are a little larger than I would like. The controller hopefully will help with that though. I was thinking of getting maybe another zoa and putting both on the right most rock get like a half and half split. Or maybe a trumpet/candy cane maybe a yuma ric. I don't know...let me know your thoughts!

    Well last but not least here are a few more pictures I took that I thought I would share. I will pull out the nice camera again soon when I pick up some new frags.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. money88

    money88 Well-Known Member

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    Update
    So what is going on with my tank? Well the last 2 days I have had some temp swings of 4-5 degrees over the course of a day which slightly worries me. Although the ricordea, duncan, and zoa continue to keep opening up. I am going to try to get that in check as soon as possible by integrating my heater with my controller and enabling / disabling the outlet its plugged into. Granted my temp swings were actually cold not hot dropping from 81 to 76 and then day two 79-74.8. I am sure this isn't helping my Zoa pox unfortunately.

    I have started my first treatment of the zoa pox last night using Furan 2. I followed guidance of a combination of forum posts to get to what approach to use. I am using about 1 packet per 2-3 cups of water instead of 1 cup as some people mention and see how it reacts. I don't want to over stress the coral with a high concentration of Furan 2 if not necessary.

    I have also been fighting cyano that last week or so as I just realized that is what it is. I have currently increased flow by adding a Hydor 425 powerhead in the corner opposite the return pump. This setup is most likely temporary and will be replacing with a Hydor 240 or a Jebao SW2 (wave controller). The cyano only shows up in between two rocks for the most part so I assume its because of flow. I plan to vacuum as much out tonight as I can and keep increased flow and shorter lighting periods to hopefully eradicate it. I am also still seeing some diatoms on the left side of the tank while I am seeing cyano on the right. The diatoms seem to be slowly going away so that is a good sign of maturity I am hoping.

    After I finish treating the zoa for pox I want to trim the frag plug more and glue it onto the rock it's currently sitting on. I am hoping the frag will survive the treatment and that the pox will go away because I'd like to grab more zoas soon. I am hoping to fill that rock with 2-3 different zoas and let them completely take over.

    I noticed new growth on the Duncan last night as well 2 new heads are coming off the largest head. Unfortunately I was unable to get any good pictures with the time I had so I will give it another shot soon.

    And the ric seemed to secrete stuff when I added the powerhead, I am not sure if that was because of the change or because it was unhappy? I guess time will tell but currently it seems to be opening up all the way and continuing its usual pattern throughout the day.

    My cleaner shrimp looks like he is going to molt again he is getting the same brown markings on his antenna. It appears last time he molted was first week in April so that sounds about right. I think people say about once a month is healthy, more than that it may be stressed.

    Whereas my pistol shrimp is still alive and kicking here him snapping away at the cleaner all the time but still have only seen him that one time I grabbed the picture earlier in the thread. He has also been digging under the middle and left rock as well; previously he seemed to only confide to the holes within the right rock and 1 or 2 small burrows under that rock.

    I never had a chance to get to the store the last few weekends and I have been really tempted to order some frags but cannot really justify the $30-$40 shipping costs from some of the online stores if I have a good location to purchase them and pick them up myself. It is two hours away from my home but I am usually up in that area anyway visiting so I just stop by right before I hit the highway. I am really hoping to stop by and get something this weekend; I wanted to grab some more zoas and maybe a hammer or trumpet but I will have to see what all catches my eye when I get there. I also don't want to go and pick up more zoas yet if I am unable to eradicate the zoa pox this week.

    Here is my latest FTS from yesterday I know not much has changed [​IMG] but they say patience is everything in this hobby
    [​IMG]


    My ric showing some nice color
    [​IMG]
     
  11. revhtree

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

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    Looking great!
     
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  12. money88

    money88 Well-Known Member

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    So I did another treatment to the zoa increased the furan 2 a little bit from the first day. The first day I stayed really light because I wanted to see if they reacted poorly. The polyps that were opening before are still opening but the ones covered in pox are no longer opening. Well lets hope this treatment works otherwise I will most likely lose the frag [​IMG].

    Well on a more positive note today I noticed even another head started to form on the Duncan and I was able to get an okay picture of it today right after I target fed it.
    [​IMG]

    Also if you look at that picture that red ball in the upper right I think is bubble algae? I ripped it out not knowing what it was but I have seen it a few times now in different spots about a few weeks apart. So hoping it is not an issue but only time will tell.

    I purchased a Jebao SW-2 today that will arrive Friday which I will replace my Hydor 425 with and use that again in my mixing buckets. The Hydor 425 has been helping with cyano as there isn't as large of a bloom anymore when it is running but hopefully mixing it up with the SW-2 will help prevent it from spreading more.

    Anyone have an easy favorites or suggestions for the next coral I should get? I need to grab myself another one this weekend and I am not looking for one with long sweepers. I was initially looking at Trumpets, Hammers (I know have sweepers), more zoas but really want to get the current pox situation sorted if possible first. I may pick another ric or 2 up and see what else they have and I like if no suggestions. They usually have pretty much anything you can think of so I am going to try and go in with some research done and at least have some clue.

    I also really want to get a Yasha Goby to hopefully pair with my pistol but every time I go to get one they don't have any only YWG. But I think that a YWG will grow to big for this tank and I don't know the timeline in which my 40 breeder will be setup because I most likely wont set that up until I move into a new place in October.

    I also seem to have an extreme amount of pods, maybe because there is no predator or I am overfeeding? When I came home today though I noticed as I predicted a few days ago my shrimp molted again which to me is still exciting as it's only the second time. Here is a picture of it this time before I removed it because it was stuck in the Duncan
    [​IMG]

    Also think I figured out the appropriate way to post imgur pictures here haha. Sorry this was my first thread with pictures so I didn't really figure out which size was appropriate.
     
  13. money88

    money88 Well-Known Member

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    Update from the weekend

    So yesterday I went and bought two new corals. Pictures will come soon hopefully tonight after they are a bit more settled in. But I went and picked up a Brain (favia) coral and another Ricordea (Orange / Purple). I got a pretty good deal on the ric it was usually $18 per head for the orange and I got two heads for the price of one so it is already much bigger than the green one. The ric seemed to settle in pretty quickly and the brain well to be honest I cannot really tell; I don't know a whole lot about them. [​IMG]

    After I got home last night, I topped the tank water off because the salinity was at 1.027 from evaporation. I really need to get my Auto Top Off working with summer right around the corner, so that will be my priority in the next week or two. Well after topping the tank I noticed that my new SW-2 pump was blowing my corals around; not because the flow was too strong but because it was more random and it would lift up the ric's and float them around the tank. So I decided that I was going to try and glue my green ric to the rock...more like attempt to I should say instead. The ric is attached to some small pebbles so I took it out of the tank and put some BRS Extra Thick gel on the pebble and tried to stick it to the live rock. It didn't work and the glue seemed to go everywhere attaching to the sides of the ric. I got nervous and took the ric out and tried to remove as much as I could so I didn't harm it. I figured I would try another method that I saw on BRS TV; creating a glue bubble under the water and trying to put that on the rock then pop it while placing the ric onto it. Well needless to say that didn't work either...the glue got everywhere...my fingers, the ric, the live rock, and my tweezers. So I again took the ric out and tried to remove as much as I could and then figured I'd be done for the night. The ric looked really ****** off and wouldn't really open much the rest of the night and showed some darkening. I really hope I didn't impede its ability to open by gluing it's sides to the pebble or something [​IMG]

    Maybe I should try epoxy instead for the rics because they have a lot less to glue onto? They are only attached to a few small pebbles so maybe epoxy would allow me to just kind of stick the small pebbles into the epoxy instead? Well in the meantime I have the circulation pump off so my rics aren't floating all over my tank, or so I thought. When I woke up this morning it appears that my pistol shrimp thought the green ric would make a good door to his cave because I saw it perfectly in place in front of one of his entrances this morning.
     
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  14. mdbannister

    mdbannister Ahh...the Reef Life Staff Member Team R2R R2R Excellence Award SCMAS Member Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Cool build so far! Following. :) I'd love to see a pic of the ric used as a door. LOL
     
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  15. money88

    money88 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry for the bad quality and the dirtiness of the tank. It was early in the morning after getting back from travel for a few days. This was when it was 'open' he also had it further left completely in front of the entrance; unfortunately I didn't think to take a picture of that one because I didn't realize what he was doing until after I saw it move again.

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. reef-rc

    reef-rc Well-Known Member

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    Those zoas and mushrooms are difficult to attached for sure. Easier if they first attached themselves to a look rock or pebble then glue them onto the mount or something you like. I know I've lost a few zoas heads as they float around and get sucked into a wavemaker before they had a chance to grip onto something.
     
  17. money88

    money88 Well-Known Member

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    Yea the rics even being attached to some small pebbles were being a pain; they were sliming like crazy and just didn't want to stay put. I ordered myself some epoxy to try using that and sticking the pebble into it with A LOT less glue to hopefully make the job a lot cleaner.
     
  18. JoshH

    JoshH Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Loving the build so far and your journey into the salt water world. All those tanks must keep you really busy lol
     
  19. money88

    money88 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! Ya saltwater definitely has its unknowns to me, just like planted tanks first did when I started them. But yea all the tanks leaves me with doing some sort of maintenance with the tank at least 3 days a week. It's alright though because it's a hobby and keeps me busy. I have finally gotten a pretty easy way to water change and dose for myself as well and working on automating a lot of that too.
     
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  20. money88

    money88 Well-Known Member

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    I bought some new stuff:
    • Kent Marine Lugol's Solution: To dip my upset ric in last week. This really seemed to help it open up the next day
    • AquaStik Red Epoxy: To epoxy / glue the corals
    • BRS Reef Chili: Plan to target feed my corals once a week with this
    • Cheap macro camera filters: Some DSLR filters with some additional magnification options (+1, +2, +4, +10). Hopefully this well help me capture some nicer pictures without having to drop $400-$600 on a macro lens yet. Still learning how to photograph aquariums though so hopefully over time this will improve
    • Nanobox Tide Plus M: Still in the mail, hopefully will arrive Thursday or Friday. Nice controllable light that isn't only white or blue. I will have to figure out how to want to mount this on the tank as it is coming with the 9" gooseneck. (Not sure this will be enough to mount from the back)
    Well in other news time for a tank update. Friday was a busy day for this tank. First I started off by feeding the corals Reef Chili then a small amount of shrimp mostly for my cleaner and pistol shrimp. It was extremely exciting to see how nicely my corals were taking in the Reef chili. AND my pistol shrimp came out to get some of the calanus; this is only the second time I have seen him since purchase!
    [​IMG]

    Here is a short video of him looking for food


    Then after feeding I scraped all the glass and took out about 15% of the tank water vacuuming the best I could. I did this so I could more easily mount some corals. Or try to again...

    I've had to leave my circulation pump off the last week or so because the rics have continuously been getting blown around. So today I decided to make an attempt at gluing epoxying again. Using epoxy and super glue (which was all sorts of hard from last time I used it) I managed to get 3 of my corals mounted; both Rics and my favia are now secured on the middle rock. The right ric I didn't use any super glue because last time that ended up horribly where as the orange ric had a little more rock to glue with so I used a small amount for it. Then I removed the frag plug from the favia which was extremely easy using a razor blade and glued / epoxied it to the top of the middle rock. Here is a picture of my mounts. I used a little too much epoxy but I will let it slide as it was my first time using it and didn't know what to expect. Practice makes perfect they say. (Also sloppy phone picture right before I left for the weekend, everything was really mad and sliming)
    [​IMG]


    The zoas appear to be doing better, a few polyps are opening this week that were not last week but there are still signs of pox. I plan to do furan 2 dips again for 3 days starting today to hopefully get rid of them all together. 1 or 2 polyps seem to be really struggling, one almost turned completely black and not sure that one will make it. But overall it at least appears to be doing "better".

    Also here is a picture I took of one of my new Rics. I still owe you all some good pictures of both the new corals. Hopefully I will get to that either today or early next week. Well I will have to if I come home again with something new [​IMG]. Sorry this one is a tad blurry
    [​IMG]

    Bonus Pistol Shrimp Picture
    [​IMG]
     
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