Patrick's 48 Gallon Reef Tank Build

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ptrick21186

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October 11th, 2022

1st water change. Started up the GFO and Carbon reactor. Added a new Powerhead and officially turning on the lights! Although this picture does the tank no justice lol!

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October 13th, 2022

Got the rest of my test kits in yesterday. Both the pH and the Alkalinity are reading lower than I'd like. 7.7 and 7.8 respectfully. I'm not gonna worry too much about this at this point. Lights were just installed and I just ended the 2 day acclimation mode I used for the fish so I'm assuming any form of photosynthesis in the tank is at a minimum. Once that ramps up I'm hoping it'll remove some excess CO2 in the water and those numbers will come up. Also bought a CO2 monitor to keep an eye on the levels in the house.
 
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October 16th, 2022

CO2 levels down to 278ppm from 876 ppm with the windows closed. We'll see if dropping overall CO2 in the house helps to raise my pH. If not might invest in a CO2 scrubber....

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October 21st, 2022

As of last Sunday my Nitrates were 3.3 and Phosphate 0.05. Shutting off the GFO on Tuesday and gonna let the tank do its thing. I feel whatever Phosphates were in the tank from running one of RO membranes backwards are gone by now
 
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October 24th, 2022

Well its looking more like Diatoms than cyno. As to be expected I guess. Good news though is I was able to open the windows today and get a good midday reading on my pH. With the ambient CO2 at 440ppm the pH of the tank midday is 8.1. So that's good. Looks like my low pH is definitely CO2 related as I thought. Gonna keep an eye on it for now
 
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November 2nd, 2022

Diatom bloom is almost completely gone. That wasn't so bad I guess. Just ordered 28K more copepods to replace the ones that didn't make it. Also got some phytoplankton to ensure they have more to eat this time. Also, just picked up 3 blue/green Chromis and 1 Banggai Cardinal.
 
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November 11th, 2022

Added 2 emerald crabs, a cleaner shrimp, and a fire fish today. Also on day 3 of dosing live phytoplankton. Tank is starting to come along nicely. Hoping to start adding some corals after the holidays
 
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November 12th, 2022

Well I'm about 95% sure the firefish jumped out the tank last night. I was afraid of this having an open top but decided to take a chance. Which means my Chocolate Lab had himself a late night snack....
 
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November 12th, 2022

I found him!!!! He snuck up into the base of a rock. Not sure if he moved the sand or it was just there but I saw him dart in and out of it a few times.
 
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December 6th, 2022

Well went on vacation for about a week and a half. Left the tank alone with the boy. He did a pretty good job feeding. Tank only needed minor glass cleaning when I came home. I did have a casuality though. One of my clowns decided to commit suicide Finding Nemo style. At first I thought he was dead and was eaten by something in the tank. Upon further inspection I found his dried up corpse behind the tank. Not sure what spooked him. Other than that everything was good. One of my crabs molted. Cool to see his exoskeleton in the tank. While I was gone my pH controller arrived. Set that up. Now that the tank is 3 months old and pretty well established I've been focusing more on getting ready for corals. Alkalinity, Magnesium, Calcium, and pH have been my focus. My pH problem appears to be more related to low alkalinity. Been slowly raising that up over the past few days. Up to 8.6 from 7.4. Gonna try and shoot for 10 but we'll see. PH has gone from 8.0 to 8.3 since raising the alk. All other parameters are perfect. Gonna give it one more day raising the alk then remove the CO2 scrubber and see what the pH does.
 
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December 9th, 2022

Picked up 5 scarlet hermits from my LFS. Now I know I said I wanted to wait until after the new year to start adding coral but I'm a very impatient man. Decided to pick up a nice yellow zoa frag and a purple and green candy cane frag. Dipped them with Red Sea DipX and they are currently in the tank. The flesh on the candy cane drew back pretty extreme in the dip and the zoas are obviously cosed as well. Little worried about that but I followed the directions spot on so I guess I'll just see what happens
 
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December 19th, 2022

I've been spending the last few weeks trying to work on dosing and keeping parameters stable. I'm doing pretty good so far. Alkalinity has been the hardest, but I think I've got the dosing down. Now that it's stable I'm looking to monitor my calcium intake and magnesium intake. Ph is pretty stable at 8.1 without using the CO2 scrubber so that pretty cool. Don't really feel like paying for media every few weeks. I'll leave the scrubber in place in case I need it in the future
 
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January 7th, 2023

Having a hard time keeping copepods alive in the tank. Three different times since I started the tank 4 months ago I've added 4 jars or Algae Barns Ecopods. Added them to the sump, to the tank, and even used a turkey baster to put them directly onto the rock work. I know some are being eaten by the fish but how are none of them surviving? I'm wondering if there's just not enough detritus/nutrients in the tank to sustain the population......
 
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Ok that's caught up. Looking back I feel I could've taken more pictures lol. I'll try and get one soon. It's hard with the lighting on the tank though.
 
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My son bought me a Royal Gramma for my birthday on Friday! Added him to the tank and so far he seems to be doing fine. My LFS was having a 50% off sale so I snatched up a Diamond Goby. Just added him to the tank and he's already making a home. Hopefully that's a good sign.
 

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Ordered a Kraken Reef lid for the top of the tank. Feel like this is a good investment as I have some jumpy fish

I been looking at those which are nice. I need to reach out to them to see if they do the acrylic insert. I saw a YT video where someone place the acrylic over the mesh to help with evaporation. It came out nice.

Looking forward to the tank pictures.
 

Seafood exploration: Do you feed any unusual items to your fish or corals?

  • I regularly feed unusual items.

    Votes: 6 3.3%
  • I occasionally feed unusual items.

    Votes: 23 12.6%
  • I have fed unusual items in the past.

    Votes: 17 9.3%
  • I stick with feeding standard items.

    Votes: 136 74.3%
  • Other.

    Votes: 1 0.5%
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