muh nano tank

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NotASpammerDude

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Update 7/9:

Gradually increasing the salinity back up to 35ppm, and already I am seeing the sponge reopening it's osculum. Great news!
Also, the Urchin is now eating the hair algae/cyano/whatever that grew on the new rock I added. more Great news

 
Orphek OR3 reef aquarium LED lighting
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NotASpammerDude

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Not sure what to name this little guy but he has his work cut out:

upload_2019-7-13_10-58-38.png
 
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NotASpammerDude

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Update 7/20:

Rinsed out and cleaned up the refugium Chaeto with some tank water (this is the leftover water) :
1563609606956.png


Also moved another Cowrie from the Sump to the DT (now have 2 in DT)
1563609764033.png



The Caulastrea is finally splitting the top polyp! :)
1563609706067.png


Plate coral is now in the DT (from QT) it looks better during daylight (inflates)
1563609830875.png
 
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Hi R2R,
I'm documenting the conversion of my 23gal Vista (mid brackish) to FOWLR with the plan of growing Coralline algae (moving it into the reef space). I've had the tank for about 2.5 years now at various FW to low end brackish salinities... The biggest reasons I am turning the tank into marine,
  • I want to set the tank up for a Green Spotted Puffer...
  • Plants are a huge struggle in brackish
  • I already do enough DIY that the brackish tank was over halfway to being a marine setup anyway
  • FW and brackish has gotten boring
Will be single species Green Spotted Puffer tank (w/ a few mollies).

Tank: Fluval Vista 23 gal:
  • Egg crate lid
  • DIY Overflows w/ Siphon Tubes; plumbed herbie style
  • 10 Gal DIY sump
The right third of the tank is has a plenum and return flow going into it a la a RUGF/RDSB.

Substrate:
arag-alive hawaiian black for the left side (1" depth)
arag-alive Natural Reef on the RUGF side

Rock:
10lbs of Caribsea dry rock
+ some black lava rock
large rock painted with drylok basement waterproofer

Lighting:
24" Current TruLumen Pro LED Actinic strip 16watt
24" Current TruLumen Pro LED 12k/Actinic fusion strip 16watt
24" Current TruLumen Pro LED strip 12K (not running) 16watt
Finnex Fugeray 24" switched for "moonlight" 8 blue leds



Sump:
  • Skilter 250 modified w/ reduced flow and a limewood airstone
  • 500ml Seachem Purigen in Skilter
  • Chaeto container + 3000K light
  • DIY UV sterilizer (13watt w/ ~60 gph pump)
  • Filter floss + bio sponge + bio media
  • Cuprisorb + intermittent activated carbon
  • Eheim compact+ 2000 return pump (at 100% flow rate, probably 350gph)



Anyways, if you got this far, thanks for reading... if you skipped down, thanks for clicking and if you have any tips advice or comments TIA :)

That's a lovely setup. You have an eye for design!
 
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Update 7/29:
  • Added divider in sump's main chamber (drain+refugium) to separate the refugium side and the drain side.
    This gives the chaeto and future macroalgae less turbulence and I may be able to get the chaeto tumbling
    1564393750530.png
    1564393554771.png

  • Fed the corals tonight with the shrimp/nori/phyto food. The Caulastrea and orange spot chalice did great, the new favias did alright, but did not show any tentacles.

  • I'm excited to now see 2 new mouths developing on the orange spot chalice (one of these days Ill learn the real name), because the chalice is battling some algae on its exposed skeleton, the new growth tells me that the chalice may be able to grow "over" the algae and block it from getting any light.
 
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NotASpammerDude

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Update II: 7/29

Just fished out one of my little mollies... was my favorite one too. This was not entirely unexpected, as I noticed the mollies resting on the substrate intermittently the past few days, but there was no obvious trauma on the one that died. I fear it's some residual insecticide from when I bayer dipped the new frags... Either that, or a pathogen introduced from the new frags... which might be worse because I don't know what it is (or how to treat). So far, I have not seen any symptoms of the puffer or the largest molly... I do know that the mollies have given birth recently, so it could also be related to a failed birth, but that doesn't explain why the smallest male molly was also "resting" in the algae... I hope I did not introduce some toxin from the additions to the Sump... but I can't see that being the likely cause...
 
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Nitrate test 8/05 (with and without camera flash):

1564997788490.png
1564997810701.png


I can't tell what it is exactly.. it looks between 0 and 5ppm with the flash, but without flash it looks between 10 and 20...
I am going to assume I have more than 0...

white balance adjusted RAW file (no flash):
1564998373042.png


I'm going to go with 10ppm...
 
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Update II: 7/29

Just fished out one of my little mollies... was my favorite one too. This was not entirely unexpected, as I noticed the mollies resting on the substrate intermittently the past few days, but there was no obvious trauma on the one that died. I fear it's some residual insecticide from when I bayer dipped the new frags... Either that, or a pathogen introduced from the new frags... which might be worse because I don't know what it is (or how to treat). So far, I have not seen any symptoms of the puffer or the largest molly... I do know that the mollies have given birth recently, so it could also be related to a failed birth, but that doesn't explain why the smallest male molly was also "resting" in the algae... I hope I did not introduce some toxin from the additions to the Sump... but I can't see that being the likely cause...

I have a new theory, I think the fish died from dinotoxins...
 
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Update 8/11:

  • Fed Hikari frozen Mysis for the first time ever and boy...
I watched as the Puffer "smelled" the shrimp on my orange sponge, candy cane coral and mushroom... He took a chunk out of the candy cane!! I saw flourescent proteins floating in the water... It was frustrating, but that's my healthiest coral so the candy cane will recover... The puffer also tried to take a "Taste" of the mushroom (that was in the process of digesting) and, yes I think it almost did, I luckily scared it off...

It's my own fault for not feeding the puffer before the corals, but the puffer ate a whole mussel earlier today... it doesn't have a "Taste" for corals, but it was curious and thought the corals were the mysis shrimp...

  • Redid some rockwork, will add photo later
I needed to improve flow along the back of the wall, so I pushed the rock out to allow for a gap. I also changed the return nozzle back to an eheim spray bar with enlarged holes. I hope this reduces algae growth and detritus buildup in the substrate
  • Chaeto in the sump is rising out of the water and frying, so I need to do something.
I am sure it's releasing some nitrates/nutrients back into the water. I will try wrapping it in some plastic mesh so it stays under water and possibly can rotate.
 
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Pics update:
-added shoal grass to the RDSB/RUGF side
-removed a molly because it was having breathing problems and put it in a FW planted tank, the molly recovered. I also noticed the puffer's nose tentacle was white. That's a bad sign. I hope something was no introduced like brook... It would have been from the snails or urchin I believe.

Added NPS (sun coral) and purple/green maze brain that had bubble algae on the side, I used a dremel diamond bit to remove as much of the coral skeleton containing the bubble algae and then I used peroxide on the remaining skeleton.
I'll try to take pics with the tank lights on tomorrw. These pics are taken with a flash or long exposure under room light (external light source).

a few pieces of grass on the right
1565852754157.png


caulastrea
1565852890753.png


cowrie out (at night)
1565853014279.png


maze brain that was "sculpted"
1565853175094.png


the sun coral (likely tubastrea)
1565853281900.png


chalice with 2 new mouths:
1565853386698.png


the recovering favia (both mouths fully functional, but have not seen tentacles yet
1565853490056.png


random bad pic for reference
1565853594852.png


fts with glare blurred out
1565853798873.png



I've been doing 5 gallon water changes every 5 or 6 days and scrubbing the rocks, also trying to keep the substrate algae free by removing algae-ridden substrate. I guess I have been putting a dent in the algae, but I still don't have any pink or purple coralline.

Oh yeah, I also added about 10 ghost shrimp. I think the puffer obliterated a few but they should be able to survive given their instincts. Added about 3 or 4 to the sump, and about 7 to the display.
 
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The thick sandbed is acting like a detritous trap, you can either thoroughly clean it during water change or get rid of sand by siphoning it out incrementally, otherwise the dyano/cyano issue will be systemic and wont go away.
This is a pretty small tank for a puffer, its likely to kill all the shrimps :-/
 
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The thick sandbed is acting like a detritous trap, you can either thoroughly clean it during water change or get rid of sand by siphoning it out incrementally, otherwise the dyano/cyano issue will be systemic and wont go away.
This is a pretty small tank for a puffer, its likely to kill all the shrimps :-/

Thx for dropping in :)

Taking your advice on the substrate without the RUGF, it's just been a really slow process. I've largely only been vacuuming out the top layer and any substrate with algae attached, so the substrate is getting slightly thinner on a week to week basis.

The puffer is doing great, and I'd like to get a bigger tank eventually, but honestly a lot of GSPs can stay smaller than 4 inches throughout their lifespan, if it approaches 5 inches I'll be immediately looking for a bigger tank (60 gallon cube most likely).

As far as the shrimp, yeah they are just to give the puffer something fun to do. I saw it hunting a few and literally explode one, so I don't mind if they get eaten, but I am rooting for them. There are some shrimp (about 5) in the sump to hopefully maintain a longer term population. Also I put 4 or so in a long established QT tank, so whatever happens happens ;) good luck to them
 

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