Ryshark’s 120-Gallon Acropora Tank

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ryshark

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It’s been a while since I’ve done a build thread and this is likely my last attempt to try and achieve my acropora growing success from many years ago.
I’m rebooting a 120-gallon tank after losing a battle with some type of filamentous algae/bacteria. After my frags of: RRU Angry Bird, TGC Acrolandia, BK Chem FrootLoops, SBB Tropical Trainwreck, RRU Emperor and many many more, were overtaken and died, I decided to completely tear down and restart.

For the rebuild I’m going with dry Marco Premium Shelf Rock, now that I’ve seen several sps guys prove it can be done. I’m also going bear bottom this time. I’m essentially modeling the cycle, biological filtration and diversity of @gcarroll

I’m using Brightwell’s dry rock starter kit which contains QuickCycl, Start XLM and MB Clean. If everything goes as planned I should be fully cycled in 7-days, we shall see. Day-1 was yesterday, I got my ammonia up around 2ppm and then dosed the bacteria.

My display won’t be ready for a few weeks, so I’ll keep the rocks in the brute until then and if I do get a short/fast cycle, I’ll add a bunch of copepods and a fish into the brute, to keep my biological filter growing.

My plan is to add nice acros ASAP, essentially once I drain, clean and re-plumb my display tank. I’m talking in like 4-weeks after my dry rocks got wet, as long as my alkalinity is stable. I know this sounds crazy, but I listened to something where Jake Adams from Reef Builders said it can be done.

CBD377D0-B45B-4897-B95F-641ED8E2461D.jpeg 1B2A03EA-247A-4A61-9070-53A16DA81E25.jpeg
 
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ryshark

ryshark

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Wishing you good luck!

Your story is similar to mine, although I lost 90% of my corals a few years ago due to a dosing pump and heater mishap. I rebooted at the end of last year after running the tank as a FOWLR.
Thank you. Sorry to hear that, it sucks how quickly these things can happen. I hope your reef is doing great now.
 
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ryshark

ryshark

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Here is my tank now, what I have left to do is drain it, get all the sand out, clean the inside with vinegar I guess then re-plumb it.

-SCA 120-gallon tank
-Crystal Dynamics Stand and Canopy with a custom color they made by mixing stain colors, I think it was white and black.
-ATI T5’s x8 bulbs with ReefBrite XHO LED strip.

DEFE3BB4-84A1-4998-9785-E4A0809374F2.jpeg
 

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Personally, I think you're playing with fire by adding acros to a such a new tank, especially one started with dry rock. I know Jake set up that nano in one day and immediately added corals, but they weren't acros. I wish you luck though and hope it works out!
 

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Tagging along for this one. Love the look of the tank.

You're coming back in setting yourself up for a bit of a struggle/gamble but I hope it goes well. My current system is BB and I love it but I started with rock from my previous established system. I've read of a few people struggling with BB early on, like it takes longer to settle in and get through some of the problematic young tank algae issues. Not sure if that's fact or not, but something to consider.

I got impatient with the brightwell starter kit but my rock wasn't clean marco. After about a 7-10 days I dumped in turbo start from fritz and I was cycled in a few days. I'm a major brightwell fan but not sure how I felt about that specific kit.
 
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ryshark

ryshark

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Personally, I think you're playing with fire by adding acros to a such a new tank, especially one started with dry rock. I know Jake set up that nano in one day and immediately added corals, but they weren't acros. I wish you luck though and hope it works out!
Deep down, I know you're right. In fact, I even have an old thread on R2R somewhere saying that I was having acro issues due to starting a tank with dry rock in relation to the maturity of the tank. That tank wasn't even 100% dry, I had once piece of live rock in there.
I'll look into that about Jake, I thought what I listened to or watched mentioned acros too. However, if it wasn't acros, i'll take that into consideration, or maybe get cheaper/tester acros as opposed to what I had in mind to start with. As we all know if this forum, acros are an entirely different ballgame compared to other corals.
 
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ryshark

ryshark

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Tagging along for this one. Love the look of the tank.

You're coming back in setting yourself up for a bit of a struggle/gamble but I hope it goes well. My current system is BB and I love it but I started with rock from my previous established system. I've read of a few people struggling with BB early on, like it takes longer to settle in and get through some of the problematic young tank algae issues. Not sure if that's fact or not, but something to consider.

I got impatient with the brightwell starter kit but my rock wasn't clean marco. After about a 7-10 days I dumped in turbo start from fritz and I was cycled in a few days. I'm a major brightwell fan but not sure how I felt about that specific kit.
Thanks for tagging along! It totally makes sense to me how BB could be more of a struggle early on with less surface area for the beneficial bacteria to colonize. Supposedly the Brightwell Clean can potentialy eliminate the young problematic algae issues / ugly stage. However, I'm on Day-4 of my Start XLM cycle and unfortunately, I may be headed down the same path as you with this stuff. Day-4 and my ammonia and Nitrite readings are the exact same as Day-1. I don't see any nitrites showing up at all yet, which tells me, nothing is happening yet.
At this pace I'll be lucky to even add a fish, let alone acros, in 4-weeks. I just added another dose of Start XLM tonight (Day-4) at about 1/3 of a full dose.
It's so hard to say if the bacteria in my bottle of XLM Start is viable or not, considering the bacteria can die in transit if the temperatures go below freezing or above 80-degrees.
I'm hoping for some lower Ammonia numbers and to register some Nitrite in 24-hours from now. We shall see
 

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It’s been a while since I’ve done a build thread and this is likely my last attempt to try and achieve my acropora growing success from many years ago.
I’m rebooting a 120-gallon tank after losing a battle with some type of filamentous algae/bacteria. After my frags of: RRU Angry Bird, TGC Acrolandia, BK Chem FrootLoops, SBB Tropical Trainwreck, RRU Emperor and many many more, were overtaken and died, I decided to completely tear down and restart.

For the rebuild I’m going with dry Marco Premium Shelf Rock, now that I’ve seen several sps guys prove it can be done. I’m also going bear bottom this time. I’m essentially modeling the cycle, biological filtration and diversity of @gcarroll

I’m using Brightwell’s dry rock starter kit which contains QuickCycl, Start XLM and MB Clean. If everything goes as planned I should be fully cycled in 7-days, we shall see. Day-1 was yesterday, I got my ammonia up around 2ppm and then dosed the bacteria.

My display won’t be ready for a few weeks, so I’ll keep the rocks in the brute until then and if I do get a short/fast cycle, I’ll add a bunch of copepods and a fish into the brute, to keep my biological filter growing.

My plan is to add nice acros ASAP, essentially once I drain, clean and re-plumb my display tank. I’m talking in like 4-weeks after my dry rocks got wet, as long as my alkalinity is stable. I know this sounds crazy, but I listened to something where Jake Adams from Reef Builders said it can be done.

CBD377D0-B45B-4897-B95F-641ED8E2461D.jpeg 1B2A03EA-247A-4A61-9070-53A16DA81E25.jpeg
sorry to hear that mate ! I hope this time it will be better for you .
I know that there is world pandemic of sps , people all over the world have bad time with acro's. sad.
 
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ryshark

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sorry to hear that mate ! I hope this time it will be better for you .
I know that there is world pandemic of sps , people all over the world have bad time with acro's. sad.
Thanks, I hope so too. If it wasn’t for my success years ago, I probably would have quit. As just one example of many, here is a frag I grew out back in the day

E99B4A31-E1C1-4C81-B48E-4D6A6FB65144.jpeg 28DE0407-3CC3-4E1C-A1D1-A48BE12F3F83.jpeg
 
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ryshark

ryshark

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This was basically my experience as well.
A bit of a letdown already. I may need to do what you did and add the Turbo Start. Is that system doing well with acros? Is it the same tank from clicking on your Build Thread Contributor Badge?

I emailed Brightwell tonight. We’ll see what he says.
 

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A bit of a letdown already. I may need to do what you did and add the Turbo Start. Is that system doing well with acros? Is it the same tank from clicking on your Build Thread Contributor Badge?

I emailed Brightwell tonight. We’ll see what he says.
Yes, I did use turbo start on the rocks in my current 75g but they came from my 180g before that. On that cycle I used turbo start. I've used it on a few tanks now some with dry marco just like you're doing. I'm pretty impatient and never wait too long before adding acropora, but I do have ups and downs admittedly.

I tried the brightwell kit on the rocks I've been cycling since may in a dark bin in my garage, for my next build. I waited about a week without seeing much, talked to a buddy who did it on his last start up and it took around 3 weeks if I remember right. He stuck with it, I didn't. Dumped in some turbo start and I want to say I was registering both nitrites and nitrates the next day, and within 2 days no ammonia/nitrite. Dosed more ammonia, and zeroed in 24 hours so fully cycled. I add different strains of bacteria to my tub, and display. Prodibo and MB7 being the staples.
 
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ryshark

ryshark

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Yes, I did use turbo start on the rocks in my current 75g but they came from my 180g before that. On that cycle I used turbo start. I've used it on a few tanks now some with dry marco just like you're doing. I'm pretty impatient and never wait too long before adding acropora, but I do have ups and downs admittedly.

I tried the brightwell kit on the rocks I've been cycling since may in a dark bin in my garage, for my next build. I waited about a week without seeing much, talked to a buddy who did it on his last start up and it took around 3 weeks if I remember right. He stuck with it, I didn't. Dumped in some turbo start and I want to say I was registering both nitrites and nitrates the next day, and within 2 days no ammonia/nitrite. Dosed more ammonia, and zeroed in 24 hours so fully cycled. I add different strains of bacteria to my tub, and display. Prodibo and MB7 being the staples.
I actually have a bunch of Prodibio BioDigest and BioOptum on hand, but for now I'm going to stick with the Brightwell a little longer. Sounds like the Fritz Turbo Start, does as its name implies!

I added another capful of XLM last night and now tonight is:
Day-6 = Still no change whatsoever in the color of my test kits for Ammonia and Nitrite. I'm still at 1-2ppm Ammonia and 0-Nitrite. Nothing is happening.

On a positive note, Brightwell CEO responded to my email quickly. Actually he called me first, but I missed the call and then he emailed me back with his cell phone number saying to call him direct when I'm available. I called his cell phone and we chatted for about 10-minutes. He essentially said what I'm experiencing is rare and if I test the same results again tonight to call him again tomorrow and he will send me a new bottle of Start XLM. He also said to dump the rest of my current bottle in. I just dumped in the rest of the bottle so now I am about 6x recommended dosage. My guess is tomorrow night will be more of the same and the bacteria in my bottle is dead.
But I have to say, the CEO giving me his direct cell phone to help me figure this out is pretty impressive. Even if I wait for him to ship me new XLM and that again doesn't work, I'll still be inclined to buy/use other Brightwell products knowing that they have excellent customer service.

Tomorrow night I'll update this thread to see if dosing 6x did anything.
 
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ryshark

ryshark

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24-hours after dosing up to 6x the recommended dosage of bacteria, there is still no change. As far as I'm concerned the bacteria in my bottle is completely dead. Brightwell said they would send out a new bottle today and I should get it in 1-week.
 
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