Right sizing - My third tank

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surlytx

Reefing Smarter, Not Harder (For Retirement)
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Up until September of 2020, I had been living in Oregon for work. The pandemic allowed me to become a remote worker (like so many.) Negotiation with my employer has allowed me to return home to Fort Worth and my family. I sold my tank and equipment in Oregon to simplify the move and assumed since I was going to be living with my daughter and son-in-law that my reefing days where done.

Flash forward to June 5, 2022. The itch for a tank was really growing and I entered into negotiations with my daughter for tank space in the house. We arrived at a mutually beneficial arrangement. Basically, the deal was the tank had to fit easily into the room I use for an office and it had to be minimal maintenance for when she is reef-sitting while I am traveling.

I decided to go with a IM NUVO Fusion Pro 2 40 gallon AIO. It fits nicely in my space and I think they are clean nice-looking tanks and stands.

On June 6, 2022, the first step was taken with having a new circuit (quad outlet) for the aquarium dropped into my office. A small start, but hey!

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As soon as the circuit was in and tested, I ordered everything...almost literally, I felt.

June 14, 2022 - The big day, FedEx delivered the stuff from IM.
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While sort of working on my day job, I was able to get the APS stand assembled and squared and the tank on it to see how it was all going to look.
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I am looking forward with excitement to getting this guy up and running. However, the watchword for this tank go-round is "thoughtful." Drawing on previous experiences and the wealth of knowledge on R2R, I'm going to enjoy the details of the process and try to do the best job the first time.

With that, going forward I will post some additional photos and thoughts here. Mostly as a journal for me but also with the hope of making some acquaintances and picking up some great tips.
 
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surlytx

surlytx

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June 15, 2022
I decided to use the Hydrofill Ti ATO. I got the starter kit which includes the top-off tank. So ATO is set up and ready to go. The tank is really nice - Glass with the pull-out fill drawer/spot. With the tank inside the stand, this feature will make adding top-off water easier.
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surlytx

surlytx

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June 25, 2022
After a couple of minor set backs, it's finally time to get rocks in. I had really wanted to use live rock from one of the Florida based companies, but after some communication issues and taking in to consideration the intense heat-wave going on, I decided to go with cured rock from my LFS.

I didn't take enough containers for the amount I needed so it will be a trip back on Wednesday, 06/26, to get the rest. the Caribsea Reef Sand should be here by as well and then get the cycling kicked off.
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surlytx

surlytx

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Cycle is done, after 28 days, with Dr. Tim's, LFS wet rock, and CaribSea live sand. I have diatoms but not overwhelming. I can see no other algae of any type yet.

At this point with my two previous systems, I would begin stocking usually with CUC. This time, I'm trying to think things through a bit more about stocking especially with the heat wave and ordering live things through the mail seems dicey. So I'm kind of stuck with what's available at the LFS.

One idea is to seed the tank with pods so they can settle into the rock work and feed with Phyto until I see some algae and then add CUC as needed.

Another idea is to get a small amount of live rock and some inhabitants from one of the live rock places to kick up the bio-diversity. Again, I am hesitant about the heat and shipping.

As far as fish go, I'm looking at Mexican barnacle blennies. I have a big chuck of barnacle shells in the tank and may protected areas in the rock work for them. Again, the mail order things is stopping me here as to the heat and shipping. I think I can get a file fish at the LFS, but I haven't researched how they would get along with the blennies.

If course, coral will start getting added as quickly as possible. I've always done SPS or LPS, but might expand to some softies that can live low in the tank.

So thinking out loud here and would appreciate any ideas or suggestions.

Thanks!
 
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surlytx

surlytx

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First part of August I started adding phytoplankton and a first round of copepods from https://dinkinsaquaticgardens.com/

Along the middle of August I started seeing diatoms and a few bits of GHA so it was time to order some CUC from https://www.reefcleaners.org/ Received in excellent condition as always. Come to find out, I received some unexpected CUC as I now have at least 50 baby snails. I also added another round of copepods from Dinkin's.

On August 31, I ordered Mexican Barnacle blennies from https://drreefsquarantinedfish.com/ Waiting for his QT process to complete and looking forward to seeing them in the tank.
 
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