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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, y'all! I'm just getting back into the hobby. Used to keep a pretty nice 55 reef but had to get out of the hobby about 4 years ago. When I traded in my last bit of liverock at the lfs, I came home with an Eclipse 7...couldn't help it...something deep inside just wouldn't let me give it up completely! :lol:
And so, this is what I am playing with, and, wanting to upgrade and turn into a nice nano on a non-existant budget!

I've had this tank up and running for a couple years with just a powerhead and some live rock, but, my interests went elsewhere when costs and lighting/overheating became insurmountable issues, so, this just ran without lights or any livestock, forgotten all this time. I finally decided I couldn't look at it any more... it was time to get rid of the little dark thing in the corner...so, I went out and bought a new lamp, some salt, and, a couple pounds of fresh liverock, instead. :ac15: (did I mention, I was a reefer addict?):help:

I removed the eclipse filtration and added a Rio 600 pump (leftover from the 55) as a powerhead and added a Rapids Mini canister filter with De NItrate, Phospure, carbon, and some bio ceramic rings. I currantly have aproximately 8-10lb. of liverock, a thin layer of shell hash, sand and rubble on the bottom, 2 astrea snails, 2 nerite snails, one combo coral rock with star polyps and palythoas, and, a bi-color psuedochromis. This has been running like this for about 2 months now. The snails combined with the canaster filter media have eliminated the diatom and green algae that had developed once I added light to the tank 3 months ago.

The coral rock was added a month ago to see if low light corals could survive in this tank under the 9w NO flourescent that came with the tank. Well, they have survived, but, I can't say they are thriving, so, I added a Rio MiniSun clip on LED light. (This is a cool little light with 5 white and 5 blue LEDs, but, it only illuminates about a 6" circle) The star polyps love this light, but, I think the palys will need some additional lighting. I will be upgrading the lighting on this tank soon, but, I wanted to see how the LED lamp would work for the corals. I do not want to use PC, HO, VHO, or, halides on this as the heat they generate is a real issue here, and, the tank is too small for the flourescent tubes, anyway (13" wide). A chiller is out of the question, too, and with the high summer temps here in N. TX, I am looking for a cool lighting solution! I have been looking into LED lighting for this tank and have found a source on ebay where I can get 12" strips of blue, white, or mixed LEDs that are very reasonably priced. I would like to replace the 9w flourescent with 3-4 of these LED strips and possibly add some smaller sections to the sides of the canopy to direct lighting to specific spots on the rockwork. The nice thing about these is that they can be added a bit at a time, which fits in well with 'non-existant budgets'!

(talk about feed the addiction!):smileyeatingchoc:

So, now, my future plan for this is;

  • add adaquate LED lighting to support low light tolerant soft and lps corals
  • add a wavemaker with pico-sized powerheads, or...
  • use a closed loop circulation system with a scwd and external pump
  • add some corals, I would like several varieties of glove/clove polyps, tubioporas, palythoas, gorgonians, zoas, finger and toadstool leathers, and some smaller lps, undecided as yet.
  • add some mobil inverts for interest, serpent star, porcelin crabs, maybe a scarlet-legged hermit, peppermint shrimp
I don't expect to get everything that I listed here, just what is available when I can afford it, lol!

Tank specs; What specs?:doh: New test kits are on my immediate wish list! Using the old ones that I do still have,
ammonia, nitrite, = 0
ph = 8.0
nitrate...haven't tested since adding the DeNitrate, but, it was very high and I had heavy diatom and hair algae growth. Since adding the canister filter with the DeNitrate, and adding the 4 snail, my live rock is clean and starting to pink up with coraline...so the nitrates must be much lower!
PO4 = dunno...need the test
Specific gravity = 1.021 (I lowered my tanks SG from 1.025 when I added the livestock as the lfs had thiers really low) I plan to gradually increase it to about 1.023.

That's where this little project stands for now.
:wavey:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the welcome, Chris! Actually, I'm a returning TRTer, (and a BRW, lol!) but, I've been gone since 2004...a lot of changes have been happening in the hobby! Love all the new corals from Australia, and, there is so much to catch up on! It's gonna be fun! :banana:
 

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Perfeshunal Hikk
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I posted in the other thread about the LED's. If the ones you have now are keeping your corals happy, then go with them. I have considered one of the LED setups like you have for a 5G tank my daughter gave up on (she wouldn't do maintenance) and putting some zoas in it.

Good luck with it and if you don't post pics, we will send the TRT Pic Police - Texas branch - to your house after you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
:bigeek: Pics will follow soon! Promise!:worm: lol!

The star polyps are doing well under them and I am seeing some new growth, but, the brown palys are stetching up and not opening fully. They will need more light. It may be a bit longer before I can swing the upgrade so I may throw my extra easel lamp with a PC on the tank to beef up the lighting short term, but, it is an ugly, temporary solution...all for the palys sake! Before I do add anymore LEDs, I want to check out the other LED options, now that I know there are some...sure wish I knew something about electronics...other than 'don't stick your tongue in a light socket'...I'd love to try a DIY on lighting for this! :agree:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
That first photo is the tank under just the Rio Mini Sun and shows its pattern and distribution...very narrow!

The second photo shows the frag rock under a PC daylight lamp
3rd is the same frag under the mini sun again
4th the only fish, a bi-color psuedochromis
 
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