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Bolick's 55gal mixed reef

Bolicks

Supporting Member
Current scape design: Thoughts?

I want to leave enough space behind to blow away detritus, and ideally have a slope down towards the front. Rightmost will be the isolated zoa rock.

Would also like to put a gyre on the right side - how well does it actually skim the surface? Don't want SPS to grow to tall on the right rock and have them get blasted by flow.

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H2OPlayar

Supporting Member
Current scape design: Thoughts?

I want to leave enough space behind to blow away detritus, and ideally have a slope down towards the front. Rightmost will be the isolated zoa rock.

Would also like to put a gyre on the right side - how well does it actually skim the surface? Don't want SPS to grow to tall on the right rock and have them get blasted by flow.

View attachment 27726
The large mass on the top right makes me a little nervous. I know it is a lot of work, but have you thought about breaking a couple of your rocks up into smaller pieces? The two large ones on the right look like prime candidates. This gives more crevices for the fish to swim through. Don't break the pukani rock though! That stuff is sweet! Nice find. I like the left side with your arch. (I am a sucker for arches).
 

Bolicks

Supporting Member
The large mass on the top right makes me a little nervous. I know it is a lot of work, but have you thought about breaking a couple of your rocks up into smaller pieces? The two large ones on the right look like prime candidates. This gives more crevices for the fish to swim through. Don't break the pukani rock though! That stuff is sweet! Nice find. I like the left side with your arch. (I am a sucker for arches).
Agreed, it's a little sketchy. I have actually broken these down a little (it's almost all pukani :confused:) Good point on the crevices!
 

H2OPlayar

Supporting Member
I like this more! It give you a chance to vary the overall height based on what corals you plant and where. My only thought is the big, dark rock up top/right might do well swapped with the island on the front left. I have had "instances" in my tank where rocks fall down and the smaller the rocks you can have up high, the less nerve wracking it is. All that can be mediated with sticks of epoxy too, but this is the fun time to mess around with what you like and take everything some guy on a keyboard is saying with a grain of salt...or sand.
 

Bolicks

Supporting Member
I like this more! It give you a chance to vary the overall height based on what corals you plant and where. My only thought is the big, dark rock up top/right might do well swapped with the island on the front left. I have had "instances" in my tank where rocks fall down and the smaller the rocks you can have up high, the less nerve wracking it is. All that can be mediated with sticks of epoxy too, but this is the fun time to mess around with what you like and take everything some guy on a keyboard is saying with a grain of salt...or sand.
Good idea! I (and my partner haha) agree actually - feels a little too "chunky" to have that big guy there. Will try to avoid epoxy, so this'll definitely be a safer bet.
 

H2OPlayar

Supporting Member
Re. this - Dr. Tim mentions that nitrification (by bacteria) drops KH.
, 6:30. Still, unclear what the magnitude of this is vs. coral consumption.
Thank you for posting this. I learned more about what is going on during the cycle. I do not believe that this is what is going on in my system as my tank is pretty mature, and this video seems to be more geared to the initial cycle. I would be interested to see how much this does bring dKh down, but my gut tells me that laying skeleton down is going to be a bigger draw on the ions than the bacterial conversion of ammonia to nitrite to nitrate.
 

Bolicks

Supporting Member
Finally managed to upgrade from the 29gal biocube to the 55gal setup. Corals seem to enjoy the cleaner (lower po4) water, and my chaeto in the new fuge is growing much faster. Really helps to have a dedicated sump area with a more powerful fuge light. This tank is getting fairly warm (80), so I've rigged up some PC fans to cool it down - will probably mount to the top inside the stand, to avoid getting them splashed.
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Rigged up some ancient AI sols onto 3/4" aluminum square tubing as I really didn't like the hood that came with it. These lights are super powerful! This setup also came with an old apex JR, that I bought a VDM module for to control the lights (the original AI controller has a broken screen). Huge thanks to @Susan Ingram for lending me her apex display module and helping me reset the apex and fix another display module.

Also huge thanks to @JVU for frags of his mushroom(s), ricordea and hammer and zoas. All seem to be doing well!
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Great thanks also to @Otakuthugster for the montis, anacropora and zoas. All still doing well - will update pictures on all these frags soon. Currently growing out on my frag rack.



Lastly, really digging those zoas from @popper.
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Was great to meet all of y'all, and looking forward to passing these on as I can frag them.

Still need to DIY the BRS lid kit I received - hopefully soon, to improve evaporative cooling.
 
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H2OPlayar

Supporting Member
Bonus random picture of a sweet halfmoon bay anemone.
View attachment 28592
I remember tide pooling as a kid and my mom called these sea squirts! I am very interested to see how this guy does. My gut reaction is they need colder water than most reef tanks. And as I am typing this, I am realizing this picture might be in a tide pool. The left edge of the seaweed makes it look like it is in a low frag tank. Cool picture none the less!
 
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Bolicks

Supporting Member
I remember tide pooling as a kid and my mom called these sea squirts! I am very interested to see how this guy does. My gut reaction is they need colder water than most reef tanks. And as I am typing this, I am realizing this picture might be in a tide pool. The left edge of the seaweed makes it look like it is in a low frag tank. Cool picture none the less!
This is in it's natural tide pool! I won't be poaching anything :)
 

H2OPlayar

Supporting Member
Apologies for even thinking you would poach! I saw the picture in your tank journal thread and my first thought was "how do we make this work for the animal's health?" Then the lighting clued me in that there were different bodies of water. You caught some really beautiful colors in the natural light!
 

Bolicks

Supporting Member
Apologies for even thinking you would poach! I saw the picture in your tank journal thread and my first thought was "how do we make this work for the animal's health?" Then the lighting clued me in that there were different bodies of water. You caught some really beautiful colors in the natural light!
I didn't take it that way! Just joking around ;) I would love a natural tide pool tank sometime - the little ?gobies? in those pools were fantastic, and some of the colors in the macroalgae were great.
 

H2OPlayar

Supporting Member
Cool! And back to the topic at hand. The new pics of your system look sweet! I like all the quick hacks to solve problems. Tape and zip tie stuff in place in the sump to help prevent dropping lights and fans into the sump, which is not uncommon (ask me how I know). Great cooling fan solution for heat, tank temp getting too high is one of my bigger issues I have to watch. Are you using the apex as your thermostat to control fans/heater? That is one of my favorite features. The black frag rack on the back of your tank is really cool, makes the rack disappear like you have floating frags!
 

Bolicks

Supporting Member
Cool! And back to the topic at hand. The new pics of your system look sweet! I like all the quick hacks to solve problems. Tape and zip tie stuff in place in the sump to help prevent dropping lights and fans into the sump, which is not uncommon (ask me how I know). Great cooling fan solution for heat, tank temp getting too high is one of my bigger issues I have to watch. Are you using the apex as your thermostat to control fans/heater? That is one of my favorite features. The black frag rack on the back of your tank is really cool, makes the rack disappear like you have floating frags!
Great idea, I'll screw some loops into the stand for the fans and zip tie them to those. I do have the heaters and fan on the apex - so cool to have that control. I'll also throw the heaters onto an inkbird (before going into the Apex), since that's the part of the system I'm most paranoid about.

Frag rack is courtesy of @ashburn2k - blends into the black acrylic on the back that I glued there quite nicely. I love how it blends in too, helps that I used acrylic instead of ABS. Unfortunately this tank bows a little, so there are some bubbles between the glued on acrylic and the original blue back panel - can't tell from the front though.
 

Bolicks

Supporting Member
Thank you for posting this. I learned more about what is going on during the cycle. I do not believe that this is what is going on in my system as my tank is pretty mature, and this video seems to be more geared to the initial cycle. I would be interested to see how much this does bring dKh down, but my gut tells me that laying skeleton down is going to be a bigger draw on the ions than the bacterial conversion of ammonia to nitrite to nitrate.
Thinking back to this - It'd be interesting to set up a trial tank (no corals) and nitrogen, phosphate and carbon dose to different degrees while measuring kH. Then, we could perhaps correlate carbon/nitrogen/phosphate input into bacterial growth and KH consumption. Of course, it's almost impossible to do the inverse experiment (coral with no bacteria), but it'd be good to know a baseline of bacterial kH consumption.
 

Bolicks

Supporting Member
Currently struggling with low NO3 (nearly undetectable) - started dosing to combat this. Any risk in raising NO3 too rapidly? Planning on getting to ~3-5 over the course of a week. Long term, I'd like to dose NO3 to get PO4 down, by promoting chaeto growth and only dosing NO3. PO4 is currently ~0.08. Any experiences with this strategy?
 

H2OPlayar

Supporting Member
Currently struggling with low NO3 (nearly undetectable) - started dosing to combat this. Any risk in raising NO3 too rapidly? Planning on getting to ~3-5 over the course of a week. Long term, I'd like to dose NO3 to get PO4 down, by promoting chaeto growth and only dosing NO3. PO4 is currently ~0.08. Any experiences with this strategy?
I heard on one of the podcasts (I think the new BRS deep dive on PO4) that you can play with nitrates and phosphates by what foods you feed. I think I recall that pellets and dried have fewer nitrates while frozen food have less phosphates. I might have gotten that backwards, so I am re-listening to the video to try and get my source right. I always think it is funny when people dose nitrate or phosphate when the food or amino acids do the same thing and is often much cheaper (albeit less accurate).


Edit, I think it is this video

Edit 2: Frozen have less po4, pellets have less no3
 
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Bolicks

Supporting Member
I heard on one of the podcasts (I think the new BRS deep dive on PO4) that you can play with nitrates and phosphates by what foods you feed. I think I recall that pellets and dried food raise nitrates while frozen food raise phosphates. I might have gotten that backwards, so I am re-listening to the video to try and get my source right. I always think it is funny when people dose nitrate or phosphate when the food or amino acids do the same thing and is often much cheaper (albeit less accurate).

Definitely have been attempting to do that as well - but am dosing now because some of the Zoas seem to be showing distress. Long term, I'd like to balance this out by having more fish and playing with foods. Short term, it's definitely easier and cheaper to dose Nitrate, as I'm anticipating trying a lot of different foods to empirically determine what gets my NO3-PO4 ratio right :)
 

Bolicks

Supporting Member
I heard on one of the podcasts (I think the new BRS deep dive on PO4) that you can play with nitrates and phosphates by what foods you feed. I think I recall that pellets and dried food raise nitrates while frozen food raise phosphates. I might have gotten that backwards, so I am re-listening to the video to try and get my source right. I always think it is funny when people dose nitrate or phosphate when the food or amino acids do the same thing and is often much cheaper (albeit less accurate).


Edit, I think it is this video
This video is also aimed towards this point.
 
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