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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Parva Mare

Caronte's Parva Mare

I decided to call my aquarium Parva Mare, which mean "Little Ocean" in Latin

Tank's Spec:
- Display - 40 gallons breeder BB - drilled for 1" Bulkheads
- 1 Satelilte Tank (Refugium) w/Marineland LED Aquarium Hood 20"x10" and
Maxi-Jet PRO 1200 PRO
- Sump - 20 gallons Large
- Lights - 2 AI SOL LED
- Powerhead - 2 Vortech MP10 ES and 1 Hydor Koralia Nano 425
- Protein Skimmer - Octopus NWB-150
- Return Pump - Sicce Syncra 1.5
- Heater - 2 Jager 100 W
- Ro/DI - SpectraPure CSP-DI R.O./DI System
- JBJ Auto Top Off Controller
- Lifegard Aquatics AquaStep Pro 15W UV (never used and Storage)
- Bare Bottom

Filtration:
- Two Little Fishes PhosBan Reactor 150 running GFO
- Fine Mesh Media Bag (socks) 6" x 10"
- Activated Carbon Media Pelleted

Testing:
- American Marine Pinpoint pH Monitor
- American Marine Pinpoint Saline Monitor
- American Marine PINPOINT II Calcium Monitor
- American Marine Pinpoint Wireless Thermometer
- Vertex Sallinity Refractometer with Auto Temp. Calibration
- Hanna Instruments Checker Calcium
- Hanna Instruments Checker Marine Alkalinity
- Hanna Instruments Checker Phosphate
- Salifert for the others (Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, Magnesium)

Livestock:
a) Inverts
- (2) Tuxedo Urchin (Mespilia globulus) one blue and one red
- (1) Emerald Crab (Mithraculus sculptus)
- (1) Rubi Crab (Mithraculus sculptus)
- (1) Scarlet Hermit (Paguristes cadenati)
- (2) Dwarf Blue tip Hermit Crab (Calcinus laevimanus)
- (1) Cerith Snail (Cerithium altratum)
- (4) Spiny Star Snail (Astraea phoebia)
- (3) Nassarius Snail (Nassarius sp.)
- (1) Sexy Shrimp (Thor Amboinensis)
- (1) Pedersson Shrimp (Pereclimenes Pedersoni)
- (1) Anemone Shrimp (Periclimenes holthuisi)
- (1) Green Mussel (Perna viridis)
- (1) Elephant Snail (Scutus antipodes)
- (1) Large Chiton (Tonicella sp.)
- (1) Rock Flower Anemone (Epicystis crucifer)
- (1) Hawaiian Feather Duster (Sabellastarte sp.)
- (1) Hard Tube Coco Worm (Protula bispiralis)
- (1) Red Fromia Starfish
- (1) Marble Fromia Starfish
- Other CUC's: Many Stomatellas and Limpets

b) Corals
- Assorted Discosoma mushrooms
- Rhodactis Mushrooms
- Florida Ricordeas
- Yuma Ricordeas
- Purple Death Palythoas
- Nuclear Green Palythoas
- Blue Hornet Zoas
- Red Hornet Zoas
- Hammer Coral
- Bicolor Frogspawn
- Kryptonite Candy Cane
- Clavularias and Pachyclavularia sp.
- Tubipora musica (Pipe Organ Coral)
- Bubble Gum Monster Chalice
- Miami Hurricane Chalice
- Blastomusa Wellsi
- Scolys
- Duncan Coral
- Sun Coral (Tubastrea coccinea)
- Black Sun Coral (Tubastrea micrantha)
- Dendrophylia (One orange and one purple)
- Favia and Favites sp.
- War Coral
- Acan Corals (Acanthastrea echinatas, lordhowensis and micromusas)
- Porites and Stylophoras (Assorted)
- (4) Montipora Capricornus (Green, Red, Purple and Tan)
- Montipora Foliosa
- Montipora Danae (Rainbow, Sunset, Superman and Poker Star Montis)
- Montipora digitata
- Montipora incrassata (assorted colors)
- Acropora yongei
- Acropora valida
- Acropora sp. (Assorted)

c) Fishes
- (1) True Percula clownfish
- (1) Banggai Cardinal
- (1) Yellow Clown Gobby
- (1) Helfrich Firefish
- (1) Rubi Dragonet
 

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It all sounds pretty good to me. Now it's just a matter of patience until your water is right. For livestock, out of your suggestions, I'd reccommend
1 fire goby
2 baggai cardinals
2 yellow tail damsels
Maybe a cleaner shrimp, (I've never heard of penderson)
Also, what kinds of corals are you interested in?
Good Luck! I'd like to hear all about your tank's progress!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I started my project on November 2011. Before go further, I must said that I am very gratefullest with this forum for provide all the information I need to start my project in the right direction. As I said, when I decide to be in the hobby I start researching a lot, reading as much as I can, and knowing the pro and cons of the hobby before gets anything.

My second step was saving for the right equipment and I got the best that I can afford, rather than get any junkie piece of equipment. For example reading and researching I learn that Hydrometers are junkies compared to refractometers and Digital Saline Monitors are even more accurate than refractometers so, I save my money for the latest and so on. In this respect I don't regret any single piece of equipment that I choose, except for the UV that I brought but never use it. After I got all the hardware I need I start planning for my sump, my plumbing and my Stand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
No Leaks, good!!! Now I'm ready for the next step: be prepare for the nasty cycling period.Is November in California and I decided to cycle the tank during the whole winter and have it ready for the first livestock schedule for Spring (Cycle permit of course). My first goal was not to rush anything, and I take this waiting period for been educated myself towards the next steps. I read many stories about cycling, tanks disasters testimonies, Live Rocks, hictchickers, pest, etc, etc.
- I run the aquarium for 3 weeks with the equipment alone to measure I get rid of nasty chemicals from the painting, the plumbing or any contaminants from the aquarium or else.
- Then I got some good quality Uncured Live Rock. At this point I read that many good things coming free on the Live Rocks and I was very curious about it
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I was very exited when I discover creatures coming from my LR:blob: I got Hydroids, free crabs, fflatworms little slugs everything cool! until I discover that everything wasn't what I was thought and all this things was nothing else but nasty hithhickers and the one and only one good thing coming out from my uncured Live Rock was a single Discosoma sp. mushroom so, whoever is planing to got uncured LR to get some "freebies" don't do it this way because for a single good thing coming out from the LR a hundred nasty things coming with it...
Now I decide to step backward a fully cured the Rock myself and save only the mushroom I got/ I kept the mushroom alone on the bottom of my display and remove all the rocks, place them in a dark container on my garage and cured them for four months. Also I cook them couple of times because I discover a persistent aiptasias coming from them
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
It's spring now and phosphates, nitrites and nitrates still very high so I decide to tried one and only from Dr. Tim and also got coralline Algae booster to seed my dried rocks with coraline.
I'm proud to have lots of patience and I don't sacrifice damsels or rush anything to accelerate the cyclig process,. I taking all this waiting time to read a lot a educate myself for what its coming.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Now is summer in California and time to return the cured rock to my tank. I read somewhere that every tank experiences and algae bloom sooner or later and I decided to provoke it myself intentionally before any livestock comes, also place chaeto on my refugium from wall to wall.
There is not livestock yet except for my poor hitchhicker mushroom who proof to be bullet proof
Keep monitoring the tank and rocks I didn't found steps of more hitchickers so far, until amphipods start populating from nowhere
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Seven months past after I start running the tank and now is time to take care of the algae problem. Because there is no livestck I just take every piece of rock out of the water and scrapped manually. Then start selecting my CUC. I got two emeralds, 2 urchins and a Tridachia crispata. Those guys proof to be the best algae mowers you can ever get. Also I have to report a very interesting behavior between my crap and my urchin. They always stand together for some reason, side by side eating the hair algae with gusto, while the lettuce nudibranch is taking care of the bryopsis.
Then to complete the CUC team I add 3 Nassarious Snails, 3 Hermit Crabs One Chiton, one Scutus Unguis and many Stomatellas Snails; and as today I must said that any single one of any of the last three, that I mentioned, worth better than a half dozen of ceriths for cleaning purposes
By November 2012 I finally get rid of the algae and since then never ever get it again, just the normalfilm algae in the glass that I clean up periodically. Also phosphate and nitrates got undetectable levels; and no more hitchhickers (other than amphipods) neither aiptasias or any unwated creature shows up.
Corals Time Finally!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Look How nice my CUC and filtration take care of the Hair Algae. Also the fact that the tank was in complete dark (ambient light) and I don't have to feed anything, contribute to that. All the Chaeto on my refugium died as well, proving that I reach a very low nutrient system unsuitable for veggies. Also I was giving time for the algae boosters to do its part seeding my dry rocks with coraline.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thank you james30ct. Until now I didn't let the coraline algae grows at the back or the bottom, but this pachiclavularia looks nice at the bottom. probably I'll replace my barebottom for a Pachiclavularia/Ricordias matt. A picture of some of my Dendros, the suncoral still shy at this time of the day and this chalice never stop growing. Right now it have 10" Did anybody knows how long they can be?
 

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