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Mike's 1200x500x300 FOWLR becoming mixed reef

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Mike's 1200x500x300 FOWLR becoming mixed reef

Postby Vilante » Fri 26 Jun, 2015 11:08 am

Introduction:

I've been using this stand (tank is new) as a tropical for about 15 years. So, I am a complete newbie to the salt water world.

I built the stand with my Grandfather and while it might not be the most stylish these days (it was built 15 years ago after all) I can't see myself losing it, even if it messes with the wife's styling :)

System Objectives: What is the end result going to be?
To run a successful mixed reef in a small tank with no sump. Hope to move to a 3x2x2 with sump after a few years.

System Type: Fish only, FOWLR, Predator, SPS, Mixed Reef, Softies only, Non photosythetic Corals?
FOWLR turning to mixed reef.

Strike up Date: Date system started
27/06/15

Display Tank: Display tank specifications.
1200x500x300 standard glass

Display Lighting: Lighting specifications.
2 x 2ft cheap chinese strips of blue and white LED's with a few pink thrown in for good measure.
Upgrading to 2 x Hydra 26 around March 2015

Stand: Stand specifications.
Pine stand built by my Grandfather with a little help from me.

Hood: Hood specifications.
NA

Sump: Sump specs if applicable.
NA

Refugium: Refugium Specifications if applicable.
NA

Support systems:

System Water:
Ultimate Aquacare Salt/live sand/live rock

Display Water circulation: In tank water circulation.
Tunze 6045 and a Jebao WP-10

Return Pump:
Eheim compact 1000 for chiller

Chiller:
Hailea HC-150a

Skimmer:
Tunze 9012

Evaporation Top Up:
Manual

Images:

This is her empty:

http://i.imgur.com/nzurjXq.jpg
Last edited by Vilante on Sun 01 May, 2016 8:39 pm, edited 7 times in total.
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Re: Mike's Low Tech Tank

Postby Vilante » Mon 29 Jun, 2015 10:00 am

Set up weekend. Everything is in and running, live sand bed and buffer and 180L of natural water. A few weeks and some live rock goes in.

Image

Murkey!

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Cleared up a bit by the next morning :)

Image
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Re: Mike's Low Tech Tank

Postby Vilante » Mon 29 Jun, 2015 10:04 am

Now my thoughts turn to what I'll put in it. I've been reading about the inches rule, which says my tank can really only have 12 inches of mature fish in it. So that's really two standard clowns, and maybe 4-6 other small fish?

I believe invertebrates aren't included though, so I could get some cleaner shrimp and some other things I'm not aware of at this point :)

I also might look at some nems but that needs much more research.

None of this starts until the live rock has been in at least a month so plenty of time for research and will only add a couple at a time but would like to have a solid idea of the finished stocks before I start.
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Re: Mike's Low Tech Tank

Postby green troll » Mon 29 Jun, 2015 11:06 am

Nice setup Mike.
Great to see it coming along. Well done
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Re: Mike's Low Tech Tank

Postby Vilante » Mon 29 Jun, 2015 12:49 pm

Thank you!
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Re: Mike's Low Tech Tank

Postby Vilante » Tue 14 Jul, 2015 10:04 am

So I have one powerhead as you can see in the pictures, and it moves a lot of water, but there are definitely some real dead spots. Would it be smart to get a small wavemaker to put at the other end of the tank?

Something like this:

http://www.aquaristiconline.com.au/p/84 ... -6015.html
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Re: Mike's Low Tech Tank

Postby Vilante » Sat 15 Aug, 2015 8:29 pm

Reef went in today, my first crack at a scape :)

Sorry for the dodgy pic, hoping to have the SLR unpacked soon.

Image
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Re: Mike's Low Tech Tank

Postby Vilante » Sat 15 Aug, 2015 9:54 pm

A better pic.

Image

Looking at removing the hood and putting in some better lights later in the year but need to tidy up air lines and chords next.
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Re: Mike's Low Tech Tank

Postby Vilante » Wed 21 Oct, 2015 1:21 pm

So the tank is 3.5 months old now, so I'm pretty sure the cycle is complete :)

It had the deep sand bed in it for 1 month and has had the live rock in it since. It is so alive, worms in the sand bed, tube worms up top, little shrimp, snails and what sounds like a mantis clicking away in there.

I did a 50% water change on the weekend and last night added the first inhabitants, 5 little blue/green chromis. They look happy as larry running around in a little school. They ate straight away.

Now for more patience and some research into what to add next.

I'm thinking I will want to have a go at some sofites or something at some stage. I definitely don't have the scope for a sump on this tank, so considering the possibility of changing out the sponges for a Tunz 9006 or similar internal skimmer in the back corner, removing the timber hood and adding some better lighting.

Christmas is around the corner :)

Terrible pic but (no colour) something for the archive.....

Image
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Re: Mike's Low Tech Tank

Postby Vilante » Thu 22 Oct, 2015 1:41 pm

I have been monitoring the temps of the tank and the room it's in, which unfortunately has a lot of glass and no scope for external coverings.

It's averaging 1-2 degrees warmer in the tank than the max outside temp, so on a day like yesterday where it was 28 outside, I got home at 9pm and it was 29 in the tank and quite warm in the room.

Also, the fish were all looking like they'd been in a sauna all day, not happy at all. Some ice in a bag and they perked back up but it was obvious that I need to run a chiller. It's not even close to Summer yet!

Purchased a Hailea HC-150a today and an Eheim pump to run it. Will install tonight.
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Re: Mike's Low Tech Tank

Postby Vilante » Thu 29 Oct, 2015 10:32 pm

One Chromis down today. Excluded by the others and wouldn't eat.

As soon as I took him out they excluded another. Great friends!

Am target feeding him with shrimp which worked tonight. Will continue that and see how he goes.
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Re: Mike's Low Tech Tank

Postby wayne2.0 » Thu 29 Oct, 2015 10:57 pm

Strange aggression from a schooling fish.
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Re: Mike's Low Tech Tank

Postby Vilante » Fri 30 Oct, 2015 8:23 am

wayne2.0 wrote:Strange aggression from a schooling fish.


I thought the same. They aren't visibly nipping at each other or anything but I'm told they can express it in ways you might not notice. I couldn't find #4 this morning at all, so he's scared silly even though he was part of the group just yesterday morning.
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Re: Mike's Low Tech Tank

Postby CT_Reefer » Fri 30 Oct, 2015 10:38 am

Vilante wrote:
wayne2.0 wrote:Strange aggression from a schooling fish.


I thought the same. They aren't visibly nipping at each other or anything but I'm told they can express it in ways you might not notice. I couldn't find #4 this morning at all, so he's scared silly even though he was part of the group just yesterday morning.


Chromis generally suffer from the Highlander syndrome ('there can be only one'). I tried a few times over the years and always found they would pick each other off one by one, with the last one proving hardy and peaceful once the other chromis were gone.
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Re: Mike's Low Tech Tank

Postby Vilante » Fri 30 Oct, 2015 10:50 am

CT_Reefer wrote:
Vilante wrote:
wayne2.0 wrote:Strange aggression from a schooling fish.


I thought the same. They aren't visibly nipping at each other or anything but I'm told they can express it in ways you might not notice. I couldn't find #4 this morning at all, so he's scared silly even though he was part of the group just yesterday morning.


Chromis generally suffer from the Highlander syndrome ('there can be only one'). I tried a few times over the years and always found they would pick each other off one by one, with the last one proving hardy and peaceful once the other chromis were gone.


Bugger. I guess that gives me more room for other fish if I'm looking for a positive.
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Re: Mike's Low Tech Tank

Postby Vilante » Mon 02 Nov, 2015 5:42 pm

I can't find #2 anywhere now. The biggest one is visibly picking on the other 2 as well. Wondering if I should somehow offload those 2 to save them being knocked off?
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Re: Mike's First Tank

Postby Vilante » Tue 03 Nov, 2015 9:55 am

So, if anyone has any advice, I'd like this tank to eventually keep some soft corals and nems (and let's be serious, probably some other things) and I'd like to know what I need to upgrade to be able to do that. It's currently seeming pretty happy as a FOWLR, obviously early days though.

Amonia and nitrite are always zero and nitrate is a constant 5-10. My salt is 1.023. Doing 10% changes per fortnight seems to keep everything stable.

Do I need to ditch the foam filters and go to a skimmer? I don't have a sump and can't have with this tank (I'm lucky to have what I have, I will plan for a 3x2x2 or 4x2x2 in a few years time) so I'd need a hang on or in the corner jobbie. Any recommendations?

I'm currently just running some cheap LED strips which have no power or coverage so I will also need light and was looking at the Marintech Gold series light.

http://www.ledaquariumlights.net.au/pages/gold-series

Is there anything else I'd need? Looking to upgrade slowly over the next few months as I build up fish stocks.
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Re: Mike's First Tank

Postby Vilante » Wed 09 Dec, 2015 8:24 pm

A quick FTS to keep it up to date.

Currently sporting:

3 x Blue chromis
1 x Cyan (fairy) wrasse
1 x Turbo snail
1 x tiny Peppermint shrimp
2 x tiny Hermit crabs

Have had a big outbreak of all kinds of Algae which you can see, I think mostly from over feeding. Trying to get the Wrasse to eat anything other than frozen and it's so shy at feeding time I end up over feeding trying to get food to it.

Looking forward to Christmas and getting a skimmer into it and getting rid of all the clutter.

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Re: Mike's First Tank

Postby Vilante » Sat 26 Dec, 2015 3:41 pm

Christmas has been good to me :) I finally have a skimmer, a Tunze 9012. It went in 5 days ago and the difference is already huge. The water has never been so clear, the tiny frag of Zoa's has opened up more than ever and the fish seem more social. Could just be me that last one :)

Image

The clowns have also moved into the main tank so there's some good movement in there now.

Image

Now for some decent lighting and then a better camera :devil:
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Re: Mike's 1200x500x300 FOWLR becoming mixed reef

Postby Vilante » Sun 31 Jan, 2016 9:05 pm

A quick update. I've been talking through the helpful people here about water chemistry in another thread, trying to get some experience with it all while I save for my lights.

viewtopic.php?f=45&t=265342

I've added a trochus snail (it might be too big, it mows through the algae), an Indica star and a lawnmower blenny recently.

My camera is still rubbish though.

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Re: Mike's 1200x500x300 FOWLR becoming mixed reef

Postby Vilante » Thu 04 Feb, 2016 7:52 pm

Post for posterity - Little fishes reactor with Rawphos in it installed today.
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Re: Mike's 1200x500x300 FOWLR becoming mixed reef

Postby Vilante » Sun 28 Feb, 2016 6:13 pm

I finally got one of the two Hydra 26's (the other is on order and will be a week or so) and added some coral under it. A few days ago I added an elegance, a hammer and a leather.

Yesterday I added an anenome which the clowns have hosted already which is bloody amazing to have in your own loungeroom :)

Battling high nitrates and phosphates at the moment (I realised as I added the new livestock) so that will be the focus for the coming weeks.

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Re: Mike's 1200x500x300 FOWLR becoming mixed reef

Postby Vilante » Sun 01 May, 2016 8:38 pm

A small update.

The tank seems to be going well. I've added a small Coral Goby and am in the process of changing to to artificial salt.

Was sick of going to the shop to collect NSW so decided to change.

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Re: Mike's 1200x500x300 FOWLR becoming mixed reef

Postby Vilante » Mon 09 May, 2016 9:42 pm

The anemone is growing like wildfire!

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Re: Mike's 1200x500x300 FOWLR becoming mixed reef

Postby Aphilla » Thu 12 May, 2016 6:52 pm

Looks like the tank is coming along well!
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Re: Mike's 1200x500x300 FOWLR becoming mixed reef

Postby Vilante » Thu 12 May, 2016 9:35 pm

Thanks mate, slowly but surely :)

I hope to upgrade to a Reefer 250 sometime this year as it's a bit hard without a sump. Enjoying trying to get some results with water with what I have though.

Since the change to ASW and about 3 months running Rawphos my Phosphate has finally come down. Mag is coming up too.

Current numbers:

Salinity - 1.026
Ammonia/Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 10
pH - 8.4
Alkalinity - 7
Magnesium - 1200
Phosphate - 0.03
Calcium - 494

Calcium has always seemed a little high, but I'm using a Hanna checker.

I'm having trouble reading Nitrate and pH which are both Redsea kits but the numbers are my best guess.
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Re: Mike's 1200x500x300 FOWLR becoming mixed reef

Postby Vilante » Tue 17 May, 2016 3:35 pm

A crappy blown out iPhone vid for posterity :)

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Srcv6TcW-Wo
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Re: Mike's 1200x500x300 FOWLR becoming mixed reef

Postby Vilante » Thu 09 Jun, 2016 5:02 pm

Just ordered a Reefer 350......

5 weeks and counting :)
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