My SPS Waterbox Peninsula Mini 15

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howaboutme

howaboutme

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It was my turn for one of my local reef club's PAR meters. I wasn't expecting to get to the front of the line this soon but now is better than any to figure out lighting before I have any corals in. There is one negative though because I'm not able to have a visual baseline on how corals are doing. That said, the readings can serve as a starting point for future adjustments and once I get things established, check again and everything will be relative to these numbers.

I have to say, I was a bit surprised at the #'s below. I thought they'd be higher considering I tested my light at likely a higher setting than what I'm likely to use. All blue spectrums were near 100% (in AI HD, it's actually higher which makes baseline comparisons hard), less than 50% whites and little to no green/red.

d3Dxvl5.jpg


Clearly the light is strong directly under but it does trail off fast when you start to move away from the center. The 240 at the top left is great but the 190 is a head scratcher as are the 2 other #'s on the main rock. I listed the # just below the water surface to serve as a baseline. Light is about 10" above the water line. I'm a firm believer in visuals so only the eye will tell what is appropriate but glad I got a chance to play with the meter.
 
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More...

32 days after initial start of my fishless cycle, these 2 beauties are in!

jjlHIu9.jpg


My cycle only consisted of using old live rock (as good as dead but w/ perhaps some die off) and ghost feeding. No bottles of anything whatsoever. A week prior, I introduced some inverts (snails and hermits) to slowly add bio load and to make sure all is well. Then, as planned, the first two and only fish go into the tank.

I went to one of our many LFS knowing they use the quarantine process. I was only putting 2 fishes in so I didn't want to set up my own quarantine nor did I think I needed to. They didn't have a huge variety but I did find a combo that I really liked and felt comfortable adopting. Although I was hoping for 2 juveniles so they can duke it out themselves in my tank, I couldn't pass up a larger (assumed female) Black Ice and a smaller Black and White (assumed male). The above is just after introduction into the tank (no lights) and below is a bit later (lights on) to show that they are already inseparable. Who knew pairing was that easy?

6kx3GQD.jpg


The Black and White is supposed to slowly turn all black and white and lose it's orange in the next year. It'll be cool to see this transformation. My kids are happy!
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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Howaboutme

this thread might indeed be a very helpful reference in our microbiology studies, is it true that following the timeframe from the standard cycling chart using feed only worked is that right, excellent.

that tank isn’t so large that straight volume is diluting the test, that water would go cloudy in two days if it were uncycled and even faster if food has been given to the fish, it’s legit cycled.

I know of nobody who has documented an old school cycle in years.
 
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Clowns are beautiful!! Really like your aquascape

Thanks!

Howaboutme

this thread might indeed be a very helpful reference in our microbiology studies, is it true that following the timeframe from the standard cycling chart using feed only worked is that right, excellent.

that tank isn’t so large that straight volume is diluting the test, that water would go cloudy in two days if it were uncycled and even faster if food has been given to the fish, it’s legit cycled.

I know of nobody who has documented an old school cycle in years.

Appreciate your comments, all good so far. I'm only checking NO3 right now and it's a bit higher than I'd like (~20 to 25ppm w/ Salifert prior to water change). I think it's high from just processing all of that uneaten food. Always a balance of input vs output and even harder to figure out input when only using food for NH3 and no instructions from the side of a bottle. I probably could have "fed" less. I'm going to want to get it down to ~10 ish as a baseline for corals, will continue to do larger changes until a nice input/output balance is achieved. Will likely put a skimmer in there at some point, sill TBD.

A picture with no lights but the ambient from the room below. I like this because it gives a clear view of how the tank looks at ~4.5 weeks.

SHzHIh9.jpg


As you can see, no diatoms or noticeable algae (yet). There is a small amount on the glass and what little there was were taken cared of by my hermits (I assume). I kept my lights off for most of the cycle until the 3rd week when I slowly turned on the lights at a very small intensity and period. I'm now slowly increasing both the intensity and the photo period to try and beat out any of the ugly phases. Will do that a few more weeks and then see what happens.

Part of this process is trying to see if old live (as good as dead) rock can still leach PO4. When these rocks were first use, I definitely had some bad uglies.
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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This belongs in our updated cycling rules thread, adding. Nice work old school work in a world where all bacteria is for sale, and must be bought.

though we have no microscope to prove bacteria imagine that exact setup with fish, a couple feedings, on day one all dry surfaces. It cannot make two days... cloudy wreck total loss within 48 hours of setup. What tanks show regarding clear water alone counts so much in cycle assessment, tests can mislead.
 
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howaboutme

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What are some good lfs in the DMV? Only ones I know about are house of tropicals and quantum aquaria in Va.

I you go a bit north and west you'll have better. Quantum is in a bit of a rut but used to be good. It may be better now. Never been to nova tropicals.

Reef escape in Fairfax (where I got my clowns) quarantines. Supreme Reefs mostly known for high end corals also in Fairfax. Blue ribbon koi and marine is just outside of Manassas near the battlefield.

For corals I'd recommend joining wamas (see below) and you'll have all that you can wish for from members.

I would also like more info on the club if you don't mind.

Old club with tons of experts. If you join you'll get nice perks that include member events. In non covid times our frag fests are awesome places to gather, get free frags, buy, sell, trade and watch a seminar by leading international experts (we now use zoom, next meeting guest is from the Georgia aquarium). Members are typically nice and generous to new members as well. We have our own forum that is obviously not as active as national forums but a good place to interact. Members include some of the high end sellers that's sell on r2r like gws3, pizza guy, lynnreefnerd and more but no shipping costs!!
 
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Build progressing....

Although a bit earlier than I had planned (or ahead of schedule if you're spinning it in a positive light) I couldn't pass up fellow WAMAS member @ccurnick 's BTA. My plan was to always do a BTA sometime after introduction of the clowns and before any noticeable amount of corals. Two reasons...1) to allow the nem plenty of space to move until solidified and 2) so the clowns can only have one option to get hosted. The 2nd one has no scientific or personal experience to back that claim up. Just my way of trying to force nature.

(Note that I'm still trying to figure out the photo routine. I'm color correcting as well as I can with my phone app but the color is still not exactly what my eye see.)

Soon after introduction:

The name has a green base. Unfortunately none of the photos show it very well or at all.

LZGLjFN.jpg


Knowing that nems usually like to anchor their foot to the underside of a rock (like an overhang) and wanting it to be in prime location, I placed it just to the left of where you see it above and on top of that rock. Luckily, it only moved a bit to the right and secured itself there.

Starting to open up a night under blues:

ujBsyGL.jpg


Earlier today:

Plump
TrQGhR1.jpg


I jumped on the nem because it is a perfect size (small) and a bit more unique than a standard rbta but not outrageous. Let the hosting begin!

In addition to the nem, I got a couple of sticks to test a few things. 1) my water quality and 2) my coral introduction routine. The latter is still much to be desired. The two sticks are: WWC Toxic Aussie Green Slimer and a WWC Yellow Tips.

My initial plan is to try and break every stick off of the frag plug, if possible, and re glue it onto a fresh plug. Again, all in the name of keeping my tank as clean as possible. The slimer is a decent size and it has already started to encrust the plug so I decided not to mess with it. The yellow tips was small, not encrusting so seemed doable so I did. Unfortunately, I was not very elegant at it and really stressed it with breaking it off and then re gluing it. In addition to all of the above, I dipped both in a bath of Revive and then rinsed before introduction. Both are sitting on a frag rack with good flow and decent light. At this point, I do not think the yellow tips will make it as I'm starting to see STN. Slimer is happy with tons of polyp extension. Time will tell.

Other things.... I ramped up my light dramatically for the above. I have a longer light period and have increased intensity for about 5hrs. Again, just to start. I'm likely not at what my ultimate intensity will be. Still no algae but I see nice spots (sponges) on the rocks, a good sign. (I think my hermits are tearing up any sign of algae but can't prove it.) My NO3 is still a bit high (20 ish) so continuing to get my feeding and exportation routine to get that under control. Thinking of introducing a skimmer in the near future.... Now for clown news...They go from can't staying away from each other to not being anywhere near each other. They are truly clowns but anything but paired.

3XkxTzI.jpg
 
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brandon429

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Wrong thread, edited.

looks sharp

agreed it’s healthy


what’s your plan for the uglies / dinos prevention
 
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Wrong thread, edited.

looks sharp

agreed it’s healthy


what’s your plan for the uglies / dinos prevention

What!?

My response to the edited comment is that this entire build is an experiment....

When uglies happen = more water changes, turn down lights and shorter photo period and maybe do every other day feeding (not prefered). I did my third water change this week to get my no3 in check as its now stabilized, which is a good step in maturation.

Looking really good! I'm by no means a professional but I've found the easiest way to get sticks off the frag plug is just gently clipping it at the base with bone cutters. Usually pops the glue relatively easily
Yeah I forgot that I have one, doh! I just snapped it...dummy mistake I won't make again.
 

ccurnick

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Build progressing....

Although a bit earlier than I had planned (or ahead of schedule if you're spinning it in a positive light) I couldn't pass up fellow WAMAS member @ccurnick 's BTA. My plan was to always do a BTA sometime after introduction of the clowns and before any noticeable amount of corals. Two reasons...1) to allow the nem plenty of space to move until solidified and 2) so the clowns can only have one option to get hosted. The 2nd one has no scientific or personal experience to back that claim up. Just my way of trying to force nature.

(Note that I'm still trying to figure out the photo routine. I'm color correcting as well as I can with my phone app but the color is still not exactly what my eye see.)

Soon after introduction:

The name has a green base. Unfortunately none of the photos show it very well or at all.

LZGLjFN.jpg


Knowing that nems usually like to anchor their foot to the underside of a rock (like an overhang) and wanting it to be in prime location, I placed it just to the left of where you see it above and on top of that rock. Luckily, it only moved a bit to the right and secured itself there.

Starting to open up a night under blues:

ujBsyGL.jpg


Earlier today:

Plump
TrQGhR1.jpg


I jumped on the nem because it is a perfect size (small) and a bit more unique than a standard rbta but not outrageous. Let the hosting begin!

In addition to the nem, I got a couple of sticks to test a few things. 1) my water quality and 2) my coral introduction routine. The latter is still much to be desired. The two sticks are: WWC Toxic Aussie Green Slimer and a WWC Yellow Tips.

My initial plan is to try and break every stick off of the frag plug, if possible, and re glue it onto a fresh plug. Again, all in the name of keeping my tank as clean as possible. The slimer is a decent size and it has already started to encrust the plug so I decided not to mess with it. The yellow tips was small, not encrusting so seemed doable so I did. Unfortunately, I was not very elegant at it and really stressed it with breaking it off and then re gluing it. In addition to all of the above, I dipped both in a bath of Revive and then rinsed before introduction. Both are sitting on a frag rack with good flow and decent light. At this point, I do not think the yellow tips will make it as I'm starting to see STN. Slimer is happy with tons of polyp extension. Time will tell.

Other things.... I ramped up my light dramatically for the above. I have a longer light period and have increased intensity for about 5hrs. Again, just to start. I'm likely not at what my ultimate intensity will be. Still no algae but I see nice spots (sponges) on the rocks, a good sign. (I think my hermits are tearing up any sign of algae but can't prove it.) My NO3 is still a bit high (20 ish) so continuing to get my feeding and exportation routine to get that under control. Thinking of introducing a skimmer in the near future.... Now for clown news...They go from can't staying away from each other to not being anywhere near each other. They are truly clowns but anything but paired.

3XkxTzI.jpg


Glad to hear the BTA and green slimer are doing well. I hope the yellow tip acro pulls through for you. It's been fairly hardy for me and recovered from points where I thought I completely lost it. If it doesn't make it, I can hook you up with another if you ever pick up frags from me again.
 
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