The Dragon's Reef

Dragonsreef

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The tank finally came so i figured its time to start my second build thread. This will also be the place to follow and get updates on my Japanese dragon eel named Shenron.

Shenron.jpg



So whats a build thread without a back story. My grandfather got me into the hobby when i was really young about 20 years ago. And we've both kept a 265 gallon together thats been up and running for over 12 years. Ive had tanks of my own on and off over the years but hadn't kelt any in about 7 years other then the one we shared. My grandfather always loved corals and i always loved the big predators, mainly morays. I wasnt allowed to have snakes growing up and they were the next best thing haha But as soon as i got my first freshwater moray it was over. I fell in love with morays and eels and started the spiral into marine addiction haha Over the past 20 years ive kept many species of morays along with some sharks, lions, and groupers but the eels were always my favorite. However there was always that one, the pinnacle of morays, the dream fish that was unobtainable for me as a young teen, the Dragon moray. It was just too expensive, but it would always be a life goal to keep one. Fast forward to last year, now 27 as an adult running my own business, i finally had some expenses to spare and decided it was time to get my dream fish.
The goal was to start a 75 gallon tank, buy a juvenile dragon eel, younger the better so he'd have time to grow out while i save up and prepare a much larger tank for his forever home. So anyway, i start the 75, got it cycled, added some fish, and after 3 months decided it was time to order the eel. I absolutely stressed to my lfs how its important that he is small. I did not want a large one.
About a month or so later I get a call that he's in. Giddy as a school girl i couldnt wait to leave work and go see him. I get to the Hidden Reef in levitown PA and hes 20-22in long. BUT HE WAS GORGEOUS. Probably one of the best looking dragons ive ever seen. I had to have him.

Here he is still at the store
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So I took him, but this also meant he would need an upgrade very soon. So the saving and planning begun immediately. Today almost 1 year later the tank is here



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Dragonsreef

Dragonsreef

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So about the tank. I decided to go with Planet aquarium. I never heard a bad thing about the company when doing my research and it fit my budget and size options. My grandfathers tank is 72in length × 24in width × 30in height and was either a marineland or aqueon. My biggest gripe about working on that tank was the height. I knew i didnt want 30in tall glass for this one, the bottom is just out of reach and i constantly need to get the grabbers out. And i also knew i wanted more depth. So i ended up just flipping the dimensions and going with 72in L ×30in W × 24in H. I probably wouldve gone for 7 or 8 ft if it wouldve fit in the room but im still plenty happy with 6ft. And of course i had to get the low iron front glass, there will be plenty of corals in this one too.
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For a sump i will be running the trigger systems triton 44. The 75 gallon has been running on triton meathod and i plan to continue it for the 230 so i needed a large refugium.

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Flow will be handled by a sicce 2800gph return pump, 2 sea swirls, and 4-5 nero5s.

For lighting i have 3 60in reefbrite xhos paired with 2 hydra 32s and 1 hydra 64. I may add more hydras later on depending on par and coverage.
 
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Since its going to be a few weeks until theres some more progress on the 230 im going to go over the past year with the 75 gallon.

It was always going to be a temporary tank so i wanted a simple setup that would be easy to move when the time came. Its a 75 marineland, lighting is 2 hydra 32s that will get moved to the 230, filtration is done by a reef octopus 2000 hob, seachem tidal 110, and a clearwater cw200 algae scrubber.


This was the first picture of the tank. The sponges are from my 265g tank and i used them to seed the dry rock as well as adding a bottle of biospira. I wanted lots of open swimming area for the fish and plenty of caves and tunnels for the eel
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First picture after adding the lights
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After about 2-3 weeks of cycling i added the first fish. A skunk clown, a bengai cardinal, and a neon velvet damsel.

2 weeks later i added a second cardinal and an Atlantic long nose butterfly

I also threw in some mushrooms from another tank just to see how theyd do. And even in a newly started environment they began to thrive in no time.
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Dragonsreef

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However as luck would have it, the next day i noticed something very wrong. The sailfin was swimming into the powerheads and the flame angel was grasping for air at the top of the water. With plenty of flow in the tank i knew this was a big problem. I flipped the hydras to all white lights and the fish were coated in velvet. The blue lights didnt show it very well so i missed noticing it immediately and lost precious time to treat the fish. The hospital tank was started immediately but it was too late for the flame angel and buttefly :(. i did manage to save the others thankfully.
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Knowing that id now have to go fallow for atleast 72 days was devastating. The lfs was willing to hold the eel for me thankfully but, it was a shame to not be able to bring him home, i still visited him often though haha. This was also the turning point for me with quarantine. Up til now i had only used a hospital tank to treat fish after there was an issue, but now im set on preventing anything like this again. The quarantine tank is now a permanent setup in the house.
 
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Dragonsreef

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Following along. I've never heard of a dragon moray. That truly looks like something of legend.
They really do look out of this world. From the aggressive face to the bright colors, thats why theyre my favorite animals on the planet. I still have lots of updates coming so stay tuned.
 
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Dragonsreef

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3 weeks later it was time for the first harvest of the algae scrubber. Nutrients were already dropping quickly and i was really impressed with how well it worked.

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Everything was looking great
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Dragonsreef

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Before long the fallow period was over, the fish were added back in, along with a long nose butterfly that i added to the qt tank a while back. It was finally time to bring Shenron home! This was in May 2020

Here he is being added, the banded coral shrimp was not about it lol
(Video file to large to upload here)

 
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I love this!! Watch for Shenron to appear soon on R2R social media. ;) :cool:
 
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Dragonsreef

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You ever seen a banded coral shrimp actually clean a fish instead of try to attack it? Im guessing having big teeth probably has something to do with it lol



Bonus video of the bcs chowing down on a bristle worm
 
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First feeding videos! He took to the squid right away. Second video he scared the crap out of me haha





 

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Tank is looking great!
 
Avast

PICK the Most Tested & Least Tested Parameters of your Tank (Pick 2)

  • Calcium (most)

    Votes: 35 6.2%
  • Alkalinity (most)

    Votes: 403 71.2%
  • Magnesium (most)

    Votes: 4 0.7%
  • Phosphate (most)

    Votes: 41 7.2%
  • PH (most)

    Votes: 60 10.6%
  • Nitrate (most)

    Votes: 51 9.0%
  • Nitrite (most)

    Votes: 3 0.5%
  • Ammonia (most)

    Votes: 12 2.1%
  • (least) Calcium

    Votes: 7 1.2%
  • (least) Alkalinity

    Votes: 3 0.5%
  • (least) Magnesium

    Votes: 46 8.1%
  • (least) Phosphate

    Votes: 7 1.2%
  • (least) PH

    Votes: 26 4.6%
  • (least) Nitrate

    Votes: 11 1.9%
  • (least) Nitrite

    Votes: 166 29.3%
  • (least) Ammonia

    Votes: 228 40.3%
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