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Shark...fish are friends
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, so it is time to start a thread for the newest tank in my line up. For any newcomers that don't know my tank history, I started out my saltwater venture with a 10 gallon tank. I ran that for about a year before I was devastated by two week long power outages that ended up killing everything in the tank. So instead of trying to start over and go through the battles I had gone through already in the 10 gal I decided to upgrade, so I've been running a 40B tank for about a year now and I'm in the process of upgrading to a 240 gallon DT w/ 75 gal sump and 40B refugium. That tank will be coming on-line soon, but in the meantime I have decided I'm going to do a 20 gallon saltwater tank at work. I had a 10 gallon planted freshwater tank on my desk at work for the past year, but one of my co-workers decided to bring his 20 gallon freshwater tank in right behind me, so I decided we didn't need two freshwater tanks sitting there in our little group of cubes, so I sold the 10 gal planted tank and will be taking the new 20 gallon saltwater tank to work tomorrow. I feel like now that I have a couple years of experience under my belt I'll be more successful with a nano tank to take to work (the key difference between how this tank will be set up and how the old tank was set up is that I'll have an ATO on this one. I'm going to take my JBJ ATO to work, and I bought the components I need to create a DIY breakout box and ATO using my apex for my home tank.

The tank has been set up since 12/16, I haven't really watched it cycle, but I had moved a piece of good live rock over from my 40B and saw there was a hermit that moved in with it, so I don't think it will cause a cycle since I'm using good established rock that shouldn't have any die off, but it will still be a few weeks before I put anything in the tank. I did test for ammonia and nitrite today and both were not detectable, so I'm starting to toss more food in it to see if I start creating ammonia or not or if the existing rock was good enough to cycle it. I moved a second piece of rock over today, and will probably move a couple more small pieces of live rock over to it before I take it to work, then I'll end up buying dry rock to finish off the aquascape once I get it situated at work.

I'm running a DSB (40lbs of sand in a 20 gal tank, made for about a 3" DSB) with the intention of doing very few water changes once it is up and running (and the water changes will mostly be for replenishing fresh salt ingredients). I have a small skimmer that came with my 240 gal tank that I might be able to clean up and find a pump for eventually, but for now it is going to run with no skimmer. For the lights I am going to attempt to use spiral CFL bulbs in an old style incandescent light hood, this gives me a full cover so I won't have any jumpers, and I believe based on research I had done setting up my planted tank and now a couple of years under my belt playing around with corals that if I get the right size CFL bulbs I will be able to keep softies / LPS without a problem (but only time will tell, this is partially an experiment to see if it can be done... if not I'll upgrade to T5HO or LED)

Here is an initial picture of the tank today. I don't have it completely full because I would just have to drain it again to move it to work so I didn't fill it up. I am about to order the hood for it and will add more rock once I have it at work.
 

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Shark...fish are friends
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I moved the tank to work today. It was really cloudy all day long from the sand/water sloshing while transporting it... I took enough water to work that it pretty much filled the tank all but about an inch or two at the top, so I figure that's probably good enough, once I add the rest of the rock that I'm going to get tomorrow (hopefully) it will probably be pretty close to full. I noticed there were 3 hermits that hitchhiked from my 40B to the 20H on the four little pieces of liverock that I moved over. There is also a small bit of pulsing xenia coral attached to one of the rocks... it will probably die is my guess since the tank is only about 3 weeks old, but IDK maybe not since I moved 4 little chunks of liverock about the size of my fist in there and the only bioload are the 3 hermits, some bristleworms, an asterina star, and maybe some pods or other stuff that hitched a ride...

I forgot to take a powerhead, so grabbed one of those and stuck it in my coat pocket to remind me to take it tomorrow (so I can stir the sand up again probably... might take a HOB filter to help remove some of the fine sand particles for a couple weeks).

Everyone who saw it today was excited to see it start to take form in the next few weeks... should get the hood/light in the next week, will buy a bunch of rock tomorrow to be able to aquascape it... also need to take my ammonia and nitrite tests to work, but thinking if everything looks OK on Friday I might run to the store and buy a fish for it after I get paid... we'll see... it's hard to say if it is ready yet or not since I have not kept track of the cycle to know if it has cycled or not... so will keep feeding it this week and see if I have ammo or trite Friday, if not I'll assume it didn't need to cycle with the rock that I moved over and add a fish...
 

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Shark...fish are friends
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5,096 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
tank has finally cleared up this morning after being stirred up from moving it and then stirred up from adding the powerhead.. I've left a large HOB filter running on it for about 24 hours now and it has done a pretty good job of making the water crystal clear. Once I'm done stirring up the sand I'll remove the monster HOB filter and probably leave a smaller HOB filter here to toss on it whenever the water needs some polishing.

I went looking for more rock last night, the last time I bought dry rock I got it from Petsmart, they had nice holey reef rock cheaper than my LFS, and I've seen it there many times... now they seem to have quit stocking it! So I have been holding off on ordering rock for my 240, but now I think I'll at least get one box of rock on its way so I can scape the work tank and get started on the 240...
 

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Shark...fish are friends
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I received my hood for the 20H last night, so brought it to work today and have it situated on the tank, and I also finished hooking up my DIY ATO to my apex, so I brought my JBJ ATO to work and installed it this morning. I also picked up one of the tank glass heat strips and it looks like the heater I have in the tank is only keeping the tank at about 76, so I don't know if I will need to get a different heater or not, I typically keep my tank at home 78-79, but looking at all of the fish that I plan to keep in this tank they all say they are OK from 72-78, so maybe I actually have my home tank a little too warm for my fish... not sure how the corals respond to the lower 70's though... I guess this can be another experiment for this tank to see how softies/LPS respond to 76, then I might learn something to be able to apply to my home tanks to save a couple bucks on electricity (and possibly less stress for the fish instead of having them at the top or above their temp range).

I might have already mentioned the lights on this tank are an experiment as well. I installed two 18W (75W equivilent) spiral CFL bulbs with a 6500K color rating, so it looks bluer than it was with the T5 office light I've had on the tank up until now, but not sure if its quite as blue as I'd like it yet, but 6500K was the best I could find in spiral CFL bulbs. I don't know if the spiral CFL's will be enough light for the softies and LPS or not, I did a lot of reading when I was setting up my planted tanks learning about PAR and discovered the spiral CFL bulbs worked great for planted tanks, so I think they should work for corals too, but it's just a matter of if 18W bulbs are powerful enough, I don't think 23W bulbs will fit in this hood without modifying it.
 

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Shark...fish are friends
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
yesterday I took a long lunch and ran to my LFS and purchased an occ clown to start stocking my work tank. Then I got home last night and was looking at my tank and noticed one of my neon blue gobies looked like he was in really rough shape... he had lost almost all of his color, I am assuming the other neon blue goby has been beating him up because the bigger of the two always chases the little one around. I had been hoping that once I got them in to the 240 gal they wouldn't be around each other and would be OK together, but since the little guy looked so rough I decided I needed to separate them before he dies... so today I scooped him out and brought him in to my work tank too. I was hoping to get the bigger of the two since he was the meany but he kept hiding under the rocks, the little one was out in the open so I grabbed him.. hoping the move is less stressful than being beat up by the other goby and hopefully he will start looking better now that its just him and the clown in my work tank.
 

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This is fun, I'm excited to follow along.

I have a 20 long on my desk at work. Snowflake clown, green clown goby, and two spot blenny, with mostly zoas and LPS. It's a fun tank, super low maintenance.
 

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Shark...fish are friends
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
finally remembered to bring my timer for my lights to work yesterday, then when I got home I had my rock from reefcleaners waiting for me... so I brought enough in to aquascape my work tank today... I think this is my favorite scape so far... rocks worked out great, lots of hiding spaces, I think it looks the most natural out of anything I've done so far lots of bolt holes... can't wait for it to purple up and start adding corals! Here is a pic, it's a bit cloudy because I had to push the sand back where it belongs...
 

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Shark...fish are friends
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
some close ups to look in to the holes of the rockwork. The last pic is a side view from the LH side. Pretty nice hiding spaces... I would love to live in here! =)
 

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Shark...fish are friends
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I am fat and happy, and OK with that =)

I'm also bad... I wanted to get out of the office for a bit for lunch today so I ran up to my LFS again, and came back with two more tank inhabitants for this tank... picked up a blue green chromis and a peppermint shrimp. Stocking a bit faster than I probably should, but I'm counting on the fact that I used good live rock from my home tank to set this up. So hopefully I don't cause myself any problems. I will hold off on corals for a bit because I expect I'll still have to deal with algae.

The blue/green is a lot lighter color than the chromis I have at home... I don't know if that's just due to the stress of moving or if it's because it is young... hoping it darkens up a bit once it settles in.
 

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Shark...fish are friends
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
been a couple weeks... everyone is happy as can be... the three fish are the best of buds, always busy swimming together... the chromis has become quite inquisitive as it searches around the tank. There are quite a few changes going on in the tank. The diatoms for the most part have receded (or gone deeper in the sand where I can't see them), there is still a slight sign of diatoms on the rocks, but for the most part green algaes have set in. My powerhead has green hair algae growing on it, the new rocks are slightly green tinted, and a couple of the old rocks have a slight green coating on them. I brought a few more snails and hermits in last week to help with the algae issues. I also have cyano starting to set in on the heater, powerhead and sand, with some slight cyano in a few patches on the rocks. It's all progressing pretty quickly.

I'm going to add a firefish next as I think it would be a good personality to add with the other little ones that I have in the tank so far. Seems how they get along so well I figure the firefish hopefully won't be too timid.

I have been considering a coral banded shrimp, but I have the peppermint shrimp in the tank already, so I'm a little afraid the CBS would kill the peppermint... I've also considered an arrow crab because this tank is just LOADED with bristle worms, and I think it's a bit on the small side to add a sixline wrasse to... I don't really want to decimate the bristle worm population though... I like that there are some in there, but I would have never known there were this many in my 40B... I'm really on the fence about getting something that will wipe out the population or not since I'm running a DSB in both this tank and my 240 at home... I don't want to completely wipe out the bristle worms since I think they are pretty good scavengers... just kind of gross seeing how many there are in this little tank when I moved 4 pieces of live rock about the size of my fist to this tank to kick it off... I can only imagine how many there are in my tank at home... and I'm thinking I'm going to have to do some major pre-QT'ing for frags that I am going to start giving away/selling to make sure I'm not giving them bristle worms in tanks like Mahnamahna's that started with all dry rock that have no bristle worms and don't want them...
 
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