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Reefaholic
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been really busy this last week planning, tearing down, and putting back up my tank. I bought 15 lbs of dry "reef saver" rock from BRS and got 3 nice sized pieces and a smaller piece. I took a hammer and chisel to it to try and experiment and came up with a new aquascape. I tore it all down and let the rock soak in my 10 gallon for four weeks before adding it. There is a before and after pic (I will be cleaning the glass soon) and even though it didn't end up the way I planned it before, I am still pretty happy with it and my fish seem to like it too. I moved the rock I was seeding it with into my tank as well (aquacultured and closely inspected). I tried to make something for all types of corals to grow as I should be getting my LEDs within the next few days and soon enough want to get some montipora to start my SPS attempt.

I have a few questions...

I replaced the crushed coral substrate with dark live sand and decided it might look nice to throw some of the crushed coral in the mix. I wanted to get a goby. Is this a bad idea with bigger chunks of substrate?

Is the brown/dark yellow stuff on my rock diatoms? I bought my tank already established so I have never seen the stages of growth on rocks and what starts to move in.

I brought my Clarki clown to the LFS and sold him. He was a bit too aggressive toward the other fish, especially my Chromis. I am planning on getting a pair of oscilleris clowns on Thursday and giving my Chromis to my buddy so I am not changing the bio-load too much. I do not have any LPS and would also like to get some of those to fill in my sand bed. I have been considering a torch or a hammer. Does anyone have these with a clownfish and does it "host" it? I will get an anemone eventually, but not anytime too soon.

Any help is appreciated :)

And here are some pics...
 

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I just started a 29. Since I'm new, I can't answer some of your questions in depth but I chose to use the caribsea reef grade aragonite. It's a nice in between sand that's not as fine but not as course. For your picture that's zoomed into the rock, I got that in my base rock as well (I used reefcleaners). I'm not sure what that is but doubt it's diatom or algae. It was on the rock in the box. I bet it's from the mining but maybe other's can chime in.

Is your tank already cycled? What LED are you getting? I'm currently researching lights for a 29. It's kind of an in between tank length.
 

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Reefaholic
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hmm, my rock came pure white, a little dusty, but white.

As far as cycling... kinda. I had the dry rock for a month and I just put it all in my 10 gallon with a heater and a very weak light. I placed about 5 lbs of aquacultured rock in there too to try and seed it... not sure how much it actually did. No phosphate/ammonia issues. When I switched everything out I put my fish in another 10 gallon with the water I siphoned out from the DT. I also had two 5 gallon buckets filled with the "old" water and dumped the rest. completely emptied my tank and rinsed it out with freshwater really well. I then put the rock in, then dumped the live sand, and waited 3 days to put my fish in. I had 20 gallons of the old water back in the tank and 9 gallons of freshly mixed water so it was just like a 30% water change. Also added some Bio Spira to the tank a day before I put the fish in and have been adding a very little bit every day since. Once I started adding that and having the rock under my better lights is when I started to notice the brownish yellow on the rock. It is twice as dark today as it was yesterday and is starting to look like fuzz in some spots.

These are the lights I got... one fixture with the 90 degree optics.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/33086105851...eName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649
 

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Reefaholic
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Made this tonight... making use out of an old algae cleaner magnet. Adjustable frag rack to acclimate my coral :) I was getting sick of trying to find places in the rock and I dont want to drill it. My zoas are looking great and the xenia is already splitting apart into a third stalk and I have had it less than a month. Stuff is growing quick! It is usually extended, but I think it got upset with me for picking it up... unfortunately my star polyps aren't looking too good. I think I placed them too close to the light. Hopefully I can still save them. I have this about 20" below the light right now.
 

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Reefaholic
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
A week has gone by and my tank is doing great! The star polyps were just hiding for a while and are all out again so no harm done :) I just received my LED fixture yesterday and hung it 12" above the tank... so far I am loving it! I'm not too sure yet on how it actually affects the corals coloring, but the colors themselves look AMAZING!!! I have a rock with yellowish/brown zoas all over it and I always thought they were a little dull looking compared to my other zoas... healthy, but nothing special. The coolest thing I noticed is once I turn the daylight bulbs off and only have the blue/uv lights on, this dull looking zoa colony suddenly turns all these bright neon colors... it is unreal the difference, but very welcome. I can't wait to get home tonight and see how my coral is adjusting to the new "sun" I also planned out my stand to the screw and have scaled models of it. Hoping to get that done in the next week or two.
 

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Reefaholic
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Some pics of the new setup. I was going to build a canopy that would house the light fixture, but I like it hanging so much I don't see the need for a canopy anymore. I have a wide open tank top to work with right now :) Anyway, so far I am happy with the lights and the tank seems to be doing well... granted I have only had them on for about a day...
 

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Reefaholic
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So you do like those lights? Ive always wondered how they are! Glad to see someone here talk about the ones from ebay! Thought about picking them up for 75 gallon build in the future.
Well... on day 2 of having them and there are some things I like and some I don't.

Likes:
-Great, clean system setup with dimmers
-Shimmer in the water :D
-Great color options
-I don't have a PAR meter, but the bottom looks a lot brighter (going from PCs)
-I love the completely open top I have for maintenance.
-The colors are a.ma.zing!

Dislikes:
-The spread isn't the greatest. It does cover my tank which is 30" long, but the middle is definitely brighter than the sides. I have it hanging 14" above the water line. Keep in mind though I did get the 90 degree optics and it would be 120 degree spread without... might take them off soon to see if it is better.
-I got the full spectrum ones and not a fan of the 2 red lights at all. I ended up putting red electrical tape over them to severely diffuse the light.
-No "moonlight" lighting, but I am going to buy a small strip for that.

All in all, I am very happy with them so far with only minor gripes... how they treat the coral I will have to update later with more time and as I stock with more coral. I will give detailed reports on what coral I have luck with and which ones I struggled with if that is something people would be interested in.
 

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Reefaholic
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Here are a few new pics of my tank.

Feeding the acans

A cool hitch-hiker I got :)

A full shot

I'm not completely sure what the frag is the feather duster came with. I asked the LFS I bought it from and they didn't know. I think it might be a favia? Not sure. I need to find a more knowledgable LFS! You can kinda see the montipora cap. One is on the frag rack and the other is epoxied to the rock (I am not that proud of the mount job, but that is in another thread :p) It is starting to grow back and it seems to be folding up on the edges to level itself out. The other one I haven't done yet. I was going to do it earlier this week, but decided to wait until I do my WC this weekend. I have only had the acans for less than a week and they already have 2 new heads! Do these coral typically grow really fast?

I have also noticed a HUGE explosion in pods since I started putting phytoplankton in my tank... pretty cool. Still think I will need a fuge and/or bigger tank before I add the manderin fish. I am hoping to have a self-sustaining food source for it.
 

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Reefaholic
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I just fragged some zoas and mounted my other monti cap. It is still not perfect, but it is much better than the other hack job I did if you look in the photo in my last post on the right side of the rockwork. Overall I am pretty happy with it :) This one the polyps are still visible everywhere on the surface, no die off. This time around was much less stressful for me, and the coral.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Moved some rock out of the way and made another frag rack. I got my order in this morning. The packaging was really nice, heat sealed 5x3 bags with little to no air in them. I got all these frags (23) for $200.00 even including shipping... on a Saturday! Now this is my first online purchase, but I think that is a deal. Some of these frags/colonies I got my LFS sells for 70+ for one. Overall very pleased with the purchase so far. I really like the ricordias, although one of them doesn't look so hot. Half of it is curled up really bad. It is in low flow so I hope it opens up over time. The acropora on the top shelf seems to be doing really well. The millepora on the left is pink, but not a deep pink. I love the polyps on millis :) The one in the middle is open and I think has a welcomed hitch-hiker. The one on the right is only red colored on the tips, the rest is white, but doesn't look dead. I moved it down to the lower shelf to make sure I don't kill it with too much light. I have my white/green/red down to 40% and my blue/uv at about 45%. I am providing flow and light according to research I have done on all these coral. If anyone sees anything that could be changed or have tips/guidance for me on the mentioned issues I would greatly appreciate it. Sorry, all my pics are taken with my cell phone. I am still fairly new to reefing, but have consumed my time with research about it. Six months ago I bought a tank seeing if I would like it... turns out I do :p
 

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