Minireef 120

melfish

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Hi everyone :)

Not my first tank journal, but it is my first time on R2R.

I'm in Brisbane, QLD, Australia.

This is my second reef tank. Some stats-
Tank: Aqua One Minireef 120
Return pump: stock standard Moray
Skimmer: Cadlights PLS-50 Elite with 100 watt isolated step down transformer
Lights: Originally the AquaOne LEDs that came with tank, then upgraded to AI Prime
Rock: started from dry, purple coloured. Can't remember brand/type.
Wavemaker: Jebao RW-8P
Test kits: Red Sea Foundation Pro (calcium, magnesium, KH), Red Sea Nitrate (useless), Hanna Checker low-range phosphate
Refugium: no-name red & blue light from Fish Street with chaetomorpha macro algae
Water: Natural salt water & RODI. Manual top off.
Dosing: no auto dosers. I have dry calcium chloride & bicarb soda, but yet to really use it at time of posting this.
Test kits: Red Sea (Nitrate, Calcium, KH, Magnesium), HANNA checker (phosphate low range)

Photos are iPhone 6 in early photos, and iPhone X from late 2018 onwards.
Using AusReef Aquarium Camera Filters.

Any edits made are to add or correct details

Previous tank journal (first salt water tank). Never ended up finishing the updates:
http://www.masa.asn.au/phpBB3/viewt...sid=e20f71597bc6fe046a5d606d34f77fdf&start=30
Or search Corner Cube Reef on MASA/RTAW

Photo on start up:
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Couple of favourite photos:
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So. Here's a brutally honest recount of my experiences and the evolution of this tank.
Let's begin ;Joyful
 
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melfish

melfish

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28 February 2018

TLDR: will never buy AquaIllumination again.

Bought an AI prime HD. Plugged it in. Straight out of the box, there was some faulty wiring somewhere as it kept making an electrical crackling noise and restarting. Turned it off and put it down on a pillow (so as to not scratch the lens). When placing it down I must have tripped the faulty wiring, meaning it restarted (turned itself back on) upon reconnecting. Didn't realise it automatically turned back on every time the wires reconnected. As I didn't realise the light was up & running, the lens melted completely, and burnt a hole through the pillow. Nearly started a fire. Only noticed due to the smell. Because there is no customer support from AI in Australia, my retailer told me to contact the distributor. They asked some questions and told me I could post it at my own cost or make the 1.5hr drive to their warehouse. I drove there when I had a day off. Upon arriving they basically talked to me like I was a lying idiot and told me 'well it hasn't happened to anyone else and I've never heard of it happening before'. Eventually took it away and replaced it with a used demo Prime in a bag. No box, instructions, packaging etc. Just a light in a bag. Whatever. Took it home. Less than 12 months later it kept overheating despite frequent cleaning, both outside & pressurised air on the fan. Told the distributor as they handle warranty repairs. Again, made the 1.5hr each way trip in. They wanted me to leave it there and collect it later in the day but I stated I lived too far away and it wasn't feasible. Sat there waiting for half an hour or so. They brought it out and said it was fixed. Checked the repairs receipt, said they replaced the fan. Took it home. Same thing- immediate red light & turned off. Emailed them. They said 'oh sorry, we didn't have time to test it because you were waiting'. Sent it back AGAIN. Posted it at my own cost this time. I emailed them notifying it had been sent in. Heard nothing back- not received it, we see the problem, we've fixed the problem, it's in the post on its way back to you, nothing. Just arrived back a week later. Cool I guess. Checked the repairs receipt to see what the problem was this time. And it says replaced the fan. So..... What did you do the first time?

It has been another year since then and it hasn't had any issues since. Now onto the arm.
Paid aprox $65 for the metal arm. Worked fine for a couple of months then started sagging. Realised the plastic piece that attaches the arm to the tank was cracked completely. Probably due to my error- tightening it too hard. That was fine. I was happy to pay for a replacement part. Only, get this..... They don't do replacement parts. THEY WANT ME TO BUY ANOTHER $65 ARM
1) I would expect such an expensive mount to be made of better quality materials
2) If not, I would at least expect to be able to replace the part that breaks so easily????

So, for a year or so now I have refused to buy another arm, and have it propped up on a pile of Twilight books (probably the best known use for them). Overall I'm not in love with the performance of the light and my corals tend to fade in colour compared to how they looked when they first went into the tank. Granted it's not a very strong light for the size of the tank, but..... meh. Just don't love it. Even softies look drab and LPS up high in the middle of the tank.

Rant over.

IMG_9997.jpg IMG_9975.jpg IMG_9976.jpg
 
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melfish

melfish

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Early-mid March 2017

  • Moved Chester (occelaris clownfish) & his zoanthids over from the old tank and added a few new corals- mushrooms, elegance, pink goniopora
  • Got test kits for my birthday from family- RedSea foundation & nitrate, Hanna Checker LR phosphate (to replace dodgy API kit)
  • Added chaetomorpha & fuge light (just an old compact fluorescent from a small freshwater tank)
Water params on 8 March 2017:
Alkalinity 6.4 dKH
Magnesium 1400 ppm
Calcium 410ppm

IMG_0105.jpg IMG_9979.jpg IMG_0192.jpg IMG_9988.jpg IMG_9989.jpg IMG_9994.jpg IMG_0197.jpg IMG_0203.jpg IMG_9980.jpg IMG_0041.jpg IMG_0045.jpg

Cool little hitchhiker. Never saw him again. ID'd it but it was so long ago I forget- sea slug, nudibranch?
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IMG_0039.jpg
 
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melfish

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Mid-late May 2017

Banggai cardinal was eating well and looking comfortable in the tank.

In the beginning of April I moved to a house an hour or so away, but it wasn't until the end of May that I was able to move the tank. I made regular trips back to look after the tank but it was slipping. I was very upset to find the banggai didn't do well in this time and didn't make it.

Skimmer was added when the tank was moved.

Chesty hung out in an Aldi yoghurt container on the trip to the new house. He was so tiny.
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The tank after the move:
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Love open top tanks at night

14 June 2017
Chesty update
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Snail hitching a ride on a larger snail
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Bought this little food processor from Target specifically to make food for the reef tank. Cheap and works great. Highly recommend
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28 June 2017

Picked up this stunning little Heraldi angelfish. The goodest angelfish ever and never touched a single coral. So much personality, so much fun to watch and added so much to the tank.

His name was Banana.
 
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Early-mid July 2017

A few more coral additions.

Brittle star came off during a coral dip. Popped him in the tank.
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Interesting way of packing coral. This was a closed brain. Usually just receive them in a baggy of water
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Love this blue xenia. You can't see in the photo but I noticed in the tank (despite doing a dip) it was infested with some tiny little bug that was irritating it. It never spread to anything else and I believe it just kind of slowly disappeared after a while but I can't really remember. I had a video of it somewhere but can't find it at the moment. Still no idea what it was. Looked like some kind of lice
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Sunny D's, random zoos and a little green monty (I think)
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Fuzzy mushrooms, brain, clove polyps (scientifically known as tiny salty palm trees)
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One of my favourite times for this tank
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Looking colourful in the background. Questionable looking show is Orange Is The New Black
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melfish

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26 July 2017

Checking out the dinner buffet. I mean fish. Checking out the fish.
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Lace coral and trachyphyllia. I mean at least the lace coral still looks good when it dies
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Teeny tiny hitchhiker crab in the trachy. He held out for a while. Eventually the trachy started to seal him in and I couldn't see him anymore. Assuming he left but never saw him again
 
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Note in previous post the giant toadstool in the back right corner of the tank. It didn't stand up and open up as expected. Instead, it curled right over and got itself all stung up underneath by the hammer coral. By the time I realised it was sitting on the hammer (the next day) it was not a pretty sight (or smell). I have a theory this did some bad things to the tank as everything seemed to start going wrong all at once, but that wasn't for another month or two... so maybe it wasn't the cause.
 
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23 August 2017

Tank in its prime. Giant toadstool gone. Shame as it would have been amazing. If only I noticed it curling over and moved it.

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While the big toadstool died, I did notice this tiny little blue guy growing on the bit of rock it came on. It was SO tiny:

IMG_4017.jpg
 
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11 Nov 2017
Chester & Banana hanging out together
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14 Nov 2017
Very upset to find that Banana seems to have fin rot. Most corals now dead. Full on dino infestation. Dark times. Heads up: they get darker.

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Of course, the first thing I did was test the water. As always, Red Sea Nitrate Pro test kit said 0 nitrates.... a likely story.

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The current state of the tank. Love how banana would hang out upside down sometimes :rolleyes: He was the perfect fish.

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Skimmer working well but extremely touchy and hard to fine tune

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Sump set up. Have added 100% Reef Safe brand bio filter blocks. Fuge light broken.

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20 November 2017
Banana's tail healing up after rigorous water change schedule. Dinos still blooming.

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Ridiculous improvised light arm/stand
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3 December 2017

Still dinos.

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Banana's tail almost completely healed up & filled back in. Doing really well.

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Given that Banana was doing well, I decided to bring home a banggai cardinal. In hindsight a questionable decision given the issues going on in the tank, but nitrates were testing at 0 on the Red Sea test kit, and Phosphates at 0 on the Hanna checker.

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14 December 2017

Banana was hiding for 2 days. One day I couldn't find him. He was dead under a rock. Never knew why. Water was testing fine, fins were perfectly healed, no sign of white spot or any other disease. He just hid and then died. Never stopped missing him. So much personality, so beautiful and never once touched any of the corals. Ate voraciously and also kept any hair algae at bay.

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Little toadstool growing

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Hammer doing really well. Macaw eye zoas closed up a lot of the time. Not sure why but they just weren't particularly happy in this tank
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20 December 2017

Some free frags from the 100% Reef Safe Christmas party for members. The SPS did well for a while but couldn't keep the dinos off it. This was my first experience with SPS.

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Picked up a BTA
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The tank. Dinos. Still.
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Some night shots. Red monti was a freebie as well.

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Not pictured: also picked up a tiny little blue tang about 2cm long. He was happy for 2 days, then hid in the rock (see photo below) for another day, then died.
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24 December 2017
Banggai cardinalfish died as I was never able to get him to eat. I tried 2 kinds of pellets, flake, frozen mysis with garlic, homemade seafood slurry. Nothing worked. I was trying to source any kind of live food, but they aren't commercially produced in Australia- at least not anywhere near as commonly as in America. I was researching a brine shrimp hatchery when he died.

After so many losses I pulled away from the tank for a while- something I'm sure many others have experienced
 
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13 Jan 2018

TLDR: I would be extremely hesitant in buy anything from Fish Street ever again.

Package from Fishstreet finally arrived. Extremely damaged, falling apart, basically open. Appauled considering I spent about $200 from memory.

After much research, I ordered the newest version of the Jebao wavemakers- a twin set with controllers (can't remember which one exactly). They sent me the wrong ones- the RW-8p twin set with controller. I emailed them saying they had sent the wrong ones. They said "oh yeah, we upgraded you for free, these are the newer ones" (they weren't). I told them the ones they had sent me were in fact cheaper than the ones I ordered by about $15. To which they replied, "yes, we have already sent your refund" (of course they hadn't). The wavemakers they sent are too powerful for my tank. I'm unable to run both of them in the tank as they will splosh water out of the tank. Additionally, I can't even use ONE on any of the random settings as again it will blow water out of the tank when it ramps up. The only way I am able to utilise it at all is by running one pump, on the lowest setting, on pulse mode.

I also ordered a thermometer, filter socks and coral glue. Without getting into it, I don't recommend any of these items.

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