New Reef Tank Journey

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Emanuel Refer

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Welcome! I'm posting this thread because I want to document my new tank progression and the journey that got me here. About 1 and a half years ago I've started my first reef tank after viewing 52 weeks of reefing, watching the 5 minute guide and doing a lot of research. It was a small 45l (~ 11 gallons) tank that I custom modified with an AIO. The tank had a lot of problems to say the least, at first It was a big hair algae outbreak then problems with a unknown species of algae that was spreading ( I tried to identify the algae but with no succes) thankfully after 3 months I discovered that the algae didn't like a high nutrient environment. So after I raised the Nitrates and Phosphates (NO3 to 0.5ppm and PO4 to 0.1ppm) the algae thankfully went away. After that my Xenia corals melted after thriving in the tank for about 9 months. Then I had some rapid tissue recession on my frogspawn coral that also thrived for 4 months. Keep in mind that i was doing an 8 percent water change every week with 0 tds water and Aquaforest Reef salt. After all of that my tank finally sort of stabilized apart from my frogspawn coral who wasn't looking good at all. Then disaster hit, my little brother dumped a whole bottle of NO3 testing reagent in my tank while I was out for a walk. When i came back I found the bottle floating in my tank and all my corals closed up. I immediately panicked and took out every coral that I had. Thankfully I had a bucket of saltwater mixing for the water change, I've put all the corals in the bucket immediately and then prepared about 40 L of salt water. Then I found an old 54l (~14gallons) tank in my basement and transferred everything in it, I didn't had any fish so that wasn't a problem. After about 2 days thankfully all my corals opened up but they didn't had any lighting over them because my AI Prime 16HD was mounted in such way I couldn't take it so my corals are stuck for the time being with a small desk lamp. I hope to set up my new tank in les than a week time from now.

The temporary setup:

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-The New Tank-
I've mentioned above that my first tank was a 45l, and after getting a taste of the hobby I want to upgrade. Now I am planning to build a 160l (~42 gallons) with the exact measurements off: 100 x 40 x 40 cm (39 x 15 x 15 in). Thankfully I saved all the rocks from the previous tank with the microbiome, but I will still need to get a lot more rock to make my aquascape. I'm planning to make the absolute essential for coral survival, and in about 1-2 months time i will add a second AI Prime and will make the aquascape, for now i will stay with only the sand bed. I am planning to make this second tank also an AIO setup with 3 compartments and as a return pump use a Sicce syncra 1.0 because it is quiet and this aquarium will go into a bedroom. I will keep this thread updated with the progress and all the important stuff. If You have any suggestions don't hesitate to share! Thank you for your patience to read all this thread! :)

The New Aquarium:

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Emanuel Refer

Emanuel Refer

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HI! Today I've made a sketch to give you an idea on how I want the AIO chamber to look like. I want to incorporate a cryptic zone in the system, about a year back after reading the CMAT volume 1 by Steve Tyree I've made a little cryptic zone into my AIO chamber. In that zone there were some interesting black sponges and tiny mussels that came on a small piece of live rock. The sponges expanded while the mussels where happy and staying open. I was really interested in growing sponges for a while, and this cryptic zone introduced me to this wonderful world of sponges. I've made a rough representation of the cryptic zone in the sketch but to give you an idea I will have small rubble for the sponges to grow on. Feel free to give me any suggestion about the AIO design. :)

The sketch:

IMG_20220704_145936.jpg
 
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Emanuel Refer

Emanuel Refer

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The corals are in! Yesterday after adding the sand and waiting for it to clear up I've added all the live rocks and corals. Keep in mind that all the real aquascape will be added in 2 - 3 months, the aquascape will be built from live rock that I will purchase. I haven't decided yet for from what source I will purchase the live rock but I am hopping to find a vender that sells real - sponge encrusted live rock (because that is what I like). The tank also needs a second AI Prime 16HD but that will be purchased with the live rock.

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-Corals-
I am really happy that all of the corals survived despite the poor conditions that they were kept in (because of the emergency). The Kenya tree coral doesn't seem to mind it at all, the zoanthid corals seem pretty happy, gorgonia coral looks better than ever, the GSP is looking great and even the bad looking frogspawn coral looks happier in this tank.

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- Best Regards! :) -
 
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Emanuel Refer

Emanuel Refer

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Where were you looking for live rock? The only place I know of that does true live rock is Tampa Bay Saltwater.
HI! Thanks a lot for the suggestion! I've heard a loot of good things about Tampa Bay Saltwater. It's great, but I was looking for a source to buy live rock in the EU. Do you know any?
 
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