Reefatosis Tank Journal

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by Reefatosis, Jul 22, 2018.

  1. Reefatosis

    Reefatosis Supporting Member

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    Welcome.......

    So the concept, at least for now, is a very minimalist SPS-dominate box of relaxation. It will be position directly adjacent to my favorite part of the couch......the part that reclines.

    I am a 'keep it simple type', especially with my tanked ecosystems, but with this build I am venturing into uncomfortable computer-based technology, ie my dosing pump. Now I don't mean to insult or offend the rare IT-type that may occasionally view this site or for whom are presently club members. But, www.casino.org/blog/how-hackers-used-a-fish-tank-to-steal-casino-data; so one' has to watch one's back right?!

    Back to simple...my core tank-scaping principles are contrasting but complementary colors, minimal diversity and lots of open space.

    In regard to minimal diversity, I'm thinking two to three species of SPS; an off centered, centerpiece like a fuzzy millie , flanked or under-planted with a plating type or stylo/pollico/seriatoporia; and maybe some paly's or zoas lurking at the bottom. I intend on obtaining multiple frags of the said types so that I can fill around the rockwork. Where I could use your help is in naming corals that fit the above description but can be purchase locally without a long search.

    The rock work will be low and open, because I love looking at the interplay of the fish and the coral colonies. At present the highest point of my rock-scape is 9".

    My critter-scaping principles are a pick for the top, the middle and the bottom. So I am considering lyretail anthias, royal gramma, and midas blenny. The family wants a clown of course, and maybe a hawkfish of some sort. Lastly, I may recruit a kole tang or another chenochaetus species for rock maintenance.....and they are very interesting to watch. My invert population will be bare-bone utilitarian......maybe just snails. I really want to fight the urge to add any fish or invert species that would influence the benthic/cryptic stuff. But I have soft spot for shrimp. In my fresh tanks, I have anywhere from 50-70 shrimp per tank. And strategically, both the fresh and salt versions, combined with snails, make for what I think is one of the more fail proof forms of nutrient export and algae control.

    So here is the assembly so far......

    IMG_5261.JPG
    IMG_5265.JPG
    IMG_5259.JPG

    -SCA aquarium 23" cube (roughly 50g at level of overflow)
    -Amishoutlet.com 24" solid cherry end table with mortis-tenon construct
    -Bunch of RealReefRock
    -Big box of Marine Pure Ceramic Balls
    -16" Modular Marine Overflow
    -DIY 29g sump with a few novel tweaks...maybe 20g total wet volume
    -Mag 5 return pump
    -SCA 301 skimmer
    -Dual MP40 QD
    -Ranco dual (heating and cooling) stage temp controller hard wired to two 150w eheim heaters
    -Kessil A360N x2 with DIY "hanger-goose" neck thingy made from 3/4" electrical conduit
    -Kessil H80 refuge light
    -Kessil Spectrum Controller (too bad kessil doesn't expand the controllers to accept both H & A-series lights.....hint to Kessil hopefully)
    -GHL 4 head dosing pump (1)ATO (2) Kalk & maybe Mg or back-up head later if I discontinue kalk (3) Alk (4) Ca.
    -BRS 4 stage RO/DI with extra DI canister.....discharge line is plumbed to the outside where pressure compensating drip emitters place rejection water to my sloped garden.
    -And it may be worth mentioning that 100% of the power is coming from solar.

    At present, I am slowly finalizing the sump area assembly. The entire system passed my week long wet test. I just need to make it to the hardware store to pick up a fresh batch of clear ammonia to cycle. After the fishless cycle, I am kind of trending toward a ATF-Tanked TV-show style initial fish stocking (all or part at once (input please)) and let it go coral-less until I can declare the biofiltration stable.....the anthias might have to wait though. I do plan to get chaeto going in the fuge right off the bat. But I do want the tank go through the algae succession steps before adding the SPS.

    I am a water change type, so the system size was based off a reasonable work load in that respect. I've got a neat, simple water change set up for the fresh tanks....50g changes with no lifting involved. Now I never want to get into the water change debate with anyone here, but I would hazard the thought that a put-off tank-chore is that hard, time consuming or laborious sets up the chance for decline.

    After all is done: critters in and frags placed, I am reserved enough to leave things alone for the years of grow out...if all goes according to plan. But as I mentioned from the start......"at least for now".

    I look foward to all of your input and insight. And will be asking plenty of questions later on.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2018
  2. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

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    Please don't put a tang in there!
    Lyretail anthias should be fed many times a day, like Be tough in a tank that small.
    Not sure if you meant playing or tabling as for the mid level corals. I think most would call them tabling. Monti caps are good for plating. I have a dbtc ora red tabling acro if that appeals to you.
     
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  3. Reefatosis

    Reefatosis Supporting Member

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    I hear ya about the tangs....just thinking out loud.

    Anthia are not for sure. I am partial toward cardinal fish as well for the same purpose.

    Yes, plating like a monti. Red tabling would be cool for sure. I like to good old ones. Some of my favorites are MC LengSy and M. sertosa for example. I get baffled when I look at sites like battlecorals.

    I've have had luck with the eheim autofeeders for spectrum pellets. I like fat fish....makes them happy. Especially in such a high energy enviroment (two M40's).
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2018
  4. Chromis

    Chromis Supporting Member

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    Looks like a really good start!

    If you run chaeto with that setup (protein skimmer before chaeto lit by H80) and don’t overstock fish you won’t really have algae problems so you won’t really need a tang, like 5-10 snails and an emerald crab would probably keep things under control. I feel bad having one yellow tang in a 90g, there is nothing for her to graze on except the nori feeder...
     
  5. Reefatosis

    Reefatosis Supporting Member

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    Thanks Chromis.

    Ive put a lot of thought into this tank. My last reef was broken down in 2014 due to life (second son) limiting my ability to keep up with maintenance. So it has been a long time coming.

    Gonna get the hardscape in this weekend.
     
  6. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

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    Looks like fun!!

    Have you tried reclining with the lights on? Looks like they would aim down into your eyes being that close.

    +1 on rethinking anthias and tangs.
     
  7. Reefatosis

    Reefatosis Supporting Member

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    Thanks Rygh.

    If you look closely at the kessils you will see the baffles that prevent light spilling onto any part of the couch. I have had leather couchs turn weird colors when exposed to sun light. So the baffles are for my eyes and my couch....hopefully.
    I scavenged some black plastic from my kids used notebooks and adhered them with two sided velcro so that it can be repositioned as needed.

    Lots of fun for sure.....plucking away at it at 530 am and 10pm but I consider it therapeutic.
     
    Coral reefer and JVU like this.
  8. Reefatosis

    Reefatosis Supporting Member

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    Met up with my old friend Mrs Wages today. Does this bring back any memories of the chase?
    7F55DF49-E1B5-4652-AB17-C59F8640B022.jpeg
     
  9. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Colorado member

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    I’ve still got a partial bag out in the garage.
     
  10. Reefatosis

    Reefatosis Supporting Member

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    C99FB3B9-5438-48E9-A395-30319BC090CA.jpeg
    Washing substrate. Who needs finger prints!

    It’s a mix of special grade, 6-12 mm rubble, larger coral fragments and sweat.
    Going for the authentic look. Neat to find hunks of fungia skeleton in the larger peices.

    During water changes the mp40’s are gonna kick up and the rock work is gonna get blasted by a hand held power head. Will vacuum substrate routinely. And contemplating wet skimming water changes; maybe not though.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2018
  11. Chromis

    Chromis Supporting Member

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    So, food-grade kalkwasser is in the works?
     
  12. Reefatosis

    Reefatosis Supporting Member

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    Initially yes. But like your tank, I am planning a lot of SPS, so I later have plans for two part or maybe both. Mrs Wages has done me well in past.
     
  13. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Colorado member

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    I’m trying to remember how it faired in the brs comparison. I thought it did fairly well.
     
  14. Chromis

    Chromis Supporting Member

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    Interesting, how does the pickling lime compare cost-wise to aquarium lime? I guess nowadays if there’s any doubt what’s in a product there’s always ICP testing to know for sure.
     
  15. Reefatosis

    Reefatosis Supporting Member

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    That type of cost comparison is impossible. I've seen very small bottles of kalk with respected brand names for stupid crazy prices.

    For years I used Mrs Wages ATO kalk in my 135g and it may have cost me 5$ a month. And got the kalk locally. I suspect the 6 bags I purchased ($2.50 for each 1.35kg bag) will last my 50g the better part of a year; and likely more.

    Regarding reef husbandry, if there is one thing I've noted after reading countless threads and reviewing TOTM's, there are many paths to a beautiful display.
     
  16. Reefatosis

    Reefatosis Supporting Member

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    Hardscaping (ie second guessing) begins:

    Frontal view:
    IMG_5293.JPG

    And the all-important Couch View:
    IMG_5295.JPG

    So I've got 8-9" max at the top of the rocks and about 12 " of negative space above. Aesthetically speaking, I believe the Golden Rule of Design 1/3:2/3 applies to both the horizontal, and the vertical.
     
  17. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

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    The only thing I don't like about it is that you don't get any separation on the bottom arms. It's pretty tough in a tank that size to get desperation tho. Really depends what corals you are planning.
     
  18. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

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    I always try to maximize fish sleeping/hiding spots, and possible coral placement locations, and I try to separate those locations as much as I can, wether it be physical separation like a gap or keeping different islands or bommies, or varrying height like that rock you have that sticks up.
     
  19. Chromis

    Chromis Supporting Member

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    That hardscape looks super nice and natural, but I would eMarco it and flip it upside-down :) with the two Kessils you would be able to get light under an overhang where you could keep zoas separate from the SPS sections, and you’d end up with twice the usable real estate.
     
  20. Reefatosis

    Reefatosis Supporting Member

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    Tempting, Chromis.

    Coral Reefer, that is why Im gonna try to limited the coral list to a small handful of sps (2-3).
     

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