Surfzone's 30g

Surfzone

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About two months ago I started my long journey across the US. I drove from Sacramento, California to Charleston, South Carolina. In California I had a 60 gallon sps reef and a 30 gallon seahorse reef (3 H. erectus and an orange spot goby filled with gorgonian.) Now that I am out of the Air Force, and settled in to my new home in Charleston I decided to set up the 30 gallon as a start to what I hope to be a successful reef.

I'm planning the tank to be an Sps dominant tank with a few LPS. The tank is a marineland 27 cube drilled with an eshops nano sump. This brings total water volume to around 30 gallons. The drain line is hard pvc and the return is braided flex tubing. I decided to use a mix of equipment that I had in the 60 gallon reef and the seahorse reef.

Flow is by 2 ecotech mp10s and the return is a Vectra S1. The Vectra just fits is the return section with the sensors for the ATO( neptune systems ATK1 without the float switch). The input for top off water is on top of the drain. I may switch this later because when it fills the water level gets a little high. I do have an APEX on this system ( came from the old 60g reef) along with a trident. I got the Trident as I was leaving California in October. I was on their waiting list since April and after all my stuff was in the movers van I get a call saying that my Trident was in and if I still wanted it lol. I picked it up the next day and I had to ride with me in the car all the way to the east coast. So Anyway back to the equipment. My skimmer is a Reef Octopus Regal 150-S which may be a bit overkill for this tank. I may have to down grade it once I get serious about putting corals in the tank. I will be using a Geo's reef calcium reactor to dose calcium and alkalinity. The efluent line goes into the sumps drane section as well in order to off gas as much CO2 as possible. For now my lighting is provided by an ecotech radion XR 15 Pro with diffuser.

I used about 15 to 20 lbs of real reef rock and going bare bottom. I did a fishless cycle with Dr. Tim's one and only. I'll be adding pods ( tispe and A. Panaminsis) soon to go with the cleanup crew I added this week ( turbo and cerith snails 10 each)

As far as fish go I'm thinking:
Royal gramma
Flame angel ( Cook Islands I understand. have a less tendency to nip coral but Go after algae. Here's to hoping that that is true)
Orange spot Blenny
Pair of Bangii Cardinals
This list is subject to change as I may find other fish more suited to this tank or that shrink my fancy.

I may be trying out a few cheap tester corals this weekend to see how they react the system. And since I'm done dosing Dr. Tim's I may start a dosing regimen of Micro Bacter 7. My ammonia and nitrites are at 0 so I may try a fish this weekend rather than the corals. This tank has started the ugly phase of diatoms so I'm leaning on the fish rather than coral. I would like to find a lb or 2 of aged live rock to put in the tank just to seed more and different stranes of bacteria. There is a great discussion over in the SPS forum about leveraging bacteria for a successful tank with sps especially new tanks.

Here are a few pics this is before I filled it with water that is a 20 gallon tank next to is for top off water.
1126191151_HDR.jpg

The Unicorn
1576164101010587315266595011674.jpg
sump
1576164382426956702755944877898.jpg
 
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Surfzone

Surfzone

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Nice looking tank! That skimmer is gonna take some gunk out of that little tank.... make sure your trident is running for a week before setting up the auto dosing!
Thanks I will be using a calcium reactor on this tank. I could probably get away with dosing, but I'm using the equipment that I have. I have found a few ways to program the Apex to control the Calcium reactor's CO2 valve to turn on and off an a particular dKH. That should keep me with a minnim swing.

Speaking of all this I've noticed my pH dips down to 7.6 at night and up to 8.0 during the day. The 8.0 I don't have a problem with but I don't want the pH to get below 7.8. I have a CO2 scrubber on the intake of the skimmer. I'm considering adding Kalk to the top off in order to rase pH. And let the CaRx do the rest of the addition of calcium and alkalinity.
 
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Surfzone

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Do you have a fuge? That would probably help with the swing as well
There is a compartment for one but no algae in it. I feel like the tank is too new with not much NO3 or PO4. I would like to use a marine pure brick in there just to add more surface area for bacteria. And that chamber isn't that large.
 

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There is a compartment for one but no algae in it. I feel like the tank is too new with not much NO3 or PO4. I would like to use a marine pure brick in there just to add more surface area for bacteria. And that chamber isn't that large.
True. That skimmer probably strips it all out. The fuge running at night would help combat the swing. Do you have your returns rippling the surface? I’ve also heard fans help too
 
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True. That skimmer probably strips it all out. The fuge running at night would help combat the swing. Do you have your returns rippling the surface? I’ve also heard fans help too
I do have the return rippling the surface. I got spoiled by California water. Lol it was hard water in California but S. Carolina has soft water. That is what I really attribute this minor issue to. If you can even call it an issue. I know many reefers don't even know their pH or care to know at that matter.
 

45ZoaGarden

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I do have the return rippling the surface. I got spoiled by California water. Lol it was hard water in California but S. Carolina has soft water. That is what I really attribute this minor issue to. If you can even call it an issue. I know many reefers don't even know their pH or care to know at that matter.
Yup, I live in Florida and my water is always above 8. I monitor it with my apex probe but don’t really care to test it as it’s always above 8...
 
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45ZoaGarden

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Good luck with the flame angel. My buddy put a flame angel in his 350 gallon tank. Within a week, it ate thousands of $ in acans. He couldn’t get it out so it’s a now a sps dominant tank LOL

FAB4BA04-C78B-493C-8A5B-F17B837AB493.jpeg
 
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Surfzone

Surfzone

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Good luck with the flame angel. My buddy put a flame angel in his 350 gallon tank. Within a week, it ate thousands of $ in acans. He couldn’t get it out so it’s a now a sps dominant tank LOL

FAB4BA04-C78B-493C-8A5B-F17B837AB493.jpeg
so far so good he hasn't touched any of my corals but then again i added sps and a favia.
 
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Did some water testing today.
Alk 9.1ppm
Ca 448ppm
Mg 1428ppm
NO3 16ppm
PO4 0.06

My alk is higher than normal. It has been around 8.5. Guess it's time to cut off CO2 to the CaRX and let it fall a little. Anyone know a good way to program the Apex to control the reactor with a trident?
 

45ZoaGarden

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Did some water testing today.
Alk 9.1ppm
Ca 448ppm
Mg 1428ppm
NO3 16ppm
PO4 0.06

My alk is higher than normal. It has been around 8.5. Guess it's time to cut off CO2 to the CaRX and let it fall a little. Anyone know a good way to program the Apex to control the reactor with a trident?
Are you Using the auto dosing?
 

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