Swift Reef - 65gal Mixed Reef

swiftsparks

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I've spent years on nano-reef and when I upgraded from a 29 AIO to a 65 drilled with sump I stopped frequenting the site and then stopped posting on my thread. My hope is to keep an updated log here.
Here are some pics of the old tank. The 29 Gallon was up and down for two years before I made the move in November of 2018. The main rock of the the 29 has been in a reef tank for 7 straight years as I bought the setup already running. The majority of the time I had the 29 I relied on water changes to replace minerals. Towards the end of of the 29 gallon's run I would dose alk and calcium more or less daily by hand.
Seeing some images of the tank make me realize how many corals have been removed or died away. (I traveled out of country a few times and my roommate created crash). You can see many of the main corals that make up my reef in the top down picture. I am impressed with the growth of my favias, chalices, and lobophylia. The candy cane coral and the toadstool have been fragged dozens of times over the years. The orange mushrooms didn't react well to a fluconazole treatment.
I eventually found a great deal on 65 with everything but lights. I had to replace plumbing but I've loved the look of my tank since the day I bought it (for $200 on craigslist!)

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swiftsparks

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Here are some pics of the 65 being water tested and fitted with new plumbing. Set up date of the 65 11-30-18
Plumbing was the only thing the tank needed (other than future upgrades)
The live stock transfer was pretty easy. I used brand new sand and had lots of extra mixed saltwater on hand. I placed all of the livestock spread out on the much larger sand bed. I originally envisioned doing a major reaquascape.... but, whether it was patience and foresight or just laziness... I more or less left it alone. The setup was a little nerve wracking. This was simultaneously my first reef with a sump and my largest aquarium ever. Luckily everything went smoothly.
 

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swiftsparks

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Everything cleared up in about 12 hours and was pretty much crystal clear in 24 hrs. The tank also came with a bubble mangus skimmer which has worked great for years until I recently replaced it's pump. You can see my rat's nest of cords and controllers. I'd love to say that these are all perfectly organized, they aren't but they have been mounted on the interior of the stand. I originally tried to grow chaeto in the sump and it just slowly faded away... I would eventually switch the chaeto chamber to a place for frags and spare rock.
You can get a good look at some of my corals in these pics. Here is one of the earliest pics of my duncan frag. It has grown from 12 heads to over 70 heads. At this point the tank is still getting dosed manually with DIY two part according to Randy Holmes Farley's recipe.
 

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swiftsparks

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In April of 2019 I added a new fish. A dwarf angle fish who has been very reef safe but who has been a bully to anything that swims in the water column. My female clown keeps her in line. She did eventually bully the green chromis to death (after two years in the tank)
May of 2019 I added three SPS corals. A rock with two small pieces of red monti, a milka stylo, and a forest fire digi. The monti has struggled to keep color (low nutrients) the forest fire digi eventually died (perhaps from zeroing out phosphates) and the Milka stylo is on my best successes in all of my SPS endeavors.
I had a pistol and hi-banded goby pair in my 29 gallon. I added another pair of the same goby and japanese candy stripe pistol in July of 2019, eventually all four would live in the same burrow and they were relatively prominent in the tank. Both of the fish passed away in the 2021 Texas Storm when my house lost power for a day. The rest of tank had no issue. It is possible they passed away for another reason. I've since replaced the fish and only see one fish and both shrimp in the burrow.
July 10 2019 is when I purchased this colony of green slimer from a local reefer. I paid $40. I would eventually mount this acro on the rear overflow and after dying back slightly from shading itself it has grown very quickly.
The relatively blurry pics of my clown are me attempting to document her jump from my display onto the tile below. I caught my overweight cat munching on her. I can still hear the popping sound as my cat munched on something orange on the tile in front of the tank. I jumped up and grabbed my female clown out of my cats mouth and quickly tossed it back in the tank. (She was covered in cat hair and dove behind the rock work as soon as I returned her to the tank) She was out swimming the next day, like nothing happened. If you look closely, you can see her pectoral fin was split and in person you can see the tooth punctures on either side of her body. She's my little miracle fish!
 

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swiftsparks

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September 2019 - a good look at the first addition of my "bam-bam" and "thundercats" zoanthids. I am not big on brand names but these both seem to be legacy corals. They have grown very quickly over the last 18 months. The bams bams have almost become a nuisance. I'm also reminded that my caulastrea has grown very quickly and my photos are much better now that I have an orange filter. haha
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This is a picture of a Bangaii cardinal that I added from petco for $15 he would also eventually be bullied to death by the dwarf angel. A look at my use of magnets to mount lps frags and my green slimer to the rear wall. The pulsing xenia that was once prominent in the 29 gallon, all but disappeared in the 65. It slowly made a come back and now covers the entire rear overflow. Much to my chagrin.
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A look at the full tank in september of 2019
tank looks great and this is a great place to look at growth progressions. This shows how much my green nepthea has suffered when moved out of a high lighting spot to the back of the tank.
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Much of my new additions are funded by selling/trading caulastrea and toadstool frags.
 
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1/8/21
more overly blue pictures. These do work to show good growth progression.
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This picture shows the growth of the Milka Stylo. It also shows the hairy mushrooms beginning to crest the main liverock structure. I wish I had never let these shrooms touch the rock. These are the issues of a mixed reef. At least the clowns love the fuzzy shrooms!
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full tank shot - good look at how big the hollywood stunner would get. I would frag it multiple times for store credit.

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Random no lights pic. not the best picture but I love the look of a reef at night!

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Here I am putting together some supplies to get my caulastrea off of the sand bed.
I prefer to use the purple or red epoxy because it looks good as soon as it is set. I use the zip ties to temporarily attach the coral to the rock while the epoxy dries.
I love gel super glue. It works especially well when you sandwich some epoxy between two squirts of get superglue.
This is two pieces of branching "real reef rock" epoxied together.
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I started with two colonies of caulastrea (one krypto and one teal green) I broke the krypto in half and you see here that i mounted it two different locations. The Krypto is new here and is a result of trading in a bunch of the teal caulastrea.
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A look at the rock structure standing upright with all of the coral in place. It was larger than I initially anticipated and I would end up moving some stuff around to fit the new structure.
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full tank shot a week or two later. I love the flow and space that is created when I elevated these caulastrea. They reacted poorly to much higher par but would eventually settle in and thrive.
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A look at the scape a month or so later. Once again reminds me of how large the green nepthea was before it began being crowded out by the toadstool.

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a look at the hardscape from straight on. The corals settled in well to the new, much higher lighting.
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CAT TAX!
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4/4/20 - This first picture is a look at two new additions...bottom right corner a very small frag of space invader pectina and on the top of the rockwork a frag of ASD rainbow... an acropora that didn't make it. You can see the zip ties I used to temporarily mount it to the rock. It succumbed to STN and I fragged it to no avail.
The pectina is much larger today!
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Top down. I used vibrant on the bubble algae and don't see it much any more. Still have hair algae patches here and there.
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I seriously thought about breaking down the tank at the beginning of the pandemic.... so glad I didn't!
Full Tank Shot

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Zoanthids
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swiftsparks

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9/14/20

A look at the tank in september of 2020. I made a pretty drastic move to move the milka stylo. Its bas was being burned by fuzzy mushrooms. Glad to have moved it. Also a good look at 5ish months of Pectina Growth. Major fragging on the stunner was necessary. Cutting of the fuzzy mushrooms irritated it.

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10/30/20
Two new corals added. A rescue coral from a tank break down... red and green blasto:
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A torch coral purchased from the LFS using credit. This was $90 in credit. Torch corals were and are crazy expensive. I think I got a good deal on this one. It is already running out of space.
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11/4/20 A few days after the new additions and some pictures taken with orange safety glasses. The orange safety glasses really help nail the color. They make taking pictures a lot easier but a little awkward. (holding the glasses and the over the phone lens) For Christmas 2020 my wife would buy me a filter set with a macro lens with a mount that is designed to be clipped on a phone.

Iphone without safety glasses
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Iphone with safety glasses
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Fully tank shot iphone only

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Full Tank with glasses
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Thoughts on the tank from November of last year
tank is coming along well. These pictures let me see how much my softies are overgrown (and fighting with LPS and SPS corals) I moved the Milka Stylo because of the fuzzy mushrooms and seeing these images makes me realize how much the fuzzy mushrooms are encroaching on the Miami Hurricane Chalice. I am quiet fond of that coral and should probably frag it away.
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The Bam Bam Zoas are growing out of control!
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swiftsparks

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Some growth pics of my tank and my boy!

This is shortly before I did a rather major change of coral placement.

My son still loves the tank!
 

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swiftsparks

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11/23/20
Was feeling the 3D aquascape. Bad glare. Really good look at the Red Robin Acro that has grown a lot. Same for the candy cane coral.
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War Coral vs Miami Hurricane Chalice. They seem to have come to a truce but the war coral is slowly winning the.... war.

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Duncan looking dope.

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The peak of the chalice before it started having major competition from the fuzzy mushrooms.

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11/2/20

I added a new coral purchased for $90 in credit from my local reef store. I think it was a good deal for a torch and it was a coral that had been traded in. A "used coral" or a "aquarium conditioned" coral.

I usually earn $20-$40 (in credit) per month. The neon green toadstool in the picture would be traded in later to help pay for fish. IMG_3165.jpg

Definitely have some algae issues on the sand bed. I over dosed in the past and caused a precipitation event. The extreme high Alk levels would cause my sand bed to solidify. It has been tough to keep clean ever since. It has slowly gotten better with time. I try to vacuum the sand when doing my monthly water changes.
TOP DOWN! Now the tank is starting to look more and more like what I see every day. I have added very few corals since.
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12/3/20

Loving this picture for growth tracking of the Red Robin Stag and the Candy Cane Tree. Obviously the Pectina was looking good!

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Close up of the Space Invader Pectina! Love this coral... but he's a little tough on candy cane tree.

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swiftsparks

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12/10/21
I got a macro lens to go along with the colored lenses. Took some cool pics in January!

Duncan
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Miami Chalice

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Bam Bam Zoas

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Red Robin Acro

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Torch

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Space Invader Pectina

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Red Green Blasto

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Avast

Do you have a build thread or tank journal here on R2R?

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