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Discussion Starter #1
:wavey::eek:
Okay peeps, This is my start on a sub-tropical marine tank. It will generally run about 65-72°F, so it will not be a cold-water system. It should parallel many tide-pools without the ebb and flow.

Getting to this point was a bit unorthadox, as I've generally been diddling around with a number of things for awhile and the current contents have cycled in assorted fashion, in assorted little tanks for assorted lengths of times. It all came together in a 10 gallon tank a couple weeks ago, and moved into its 15 gallon home on my office desk today. pH is about 8, Amm & N'ite are nil, and N'ates are measurable, but negligible.

Current life is a couple of micro hermits, a couple margaritas, a couple small ceriths, four little-neck clams, uncertain tigger pods, and assorted tropical macros that are just killing time until I swap them with something more permanent. The clams will likely be turned into food for my tropical tank in the near future, but they are helping to keep up the bio-demand and they seem rather happy.

I built the stand out of oak for the outside and birch for the drawers. As the bio-filtration will be slower in the cooler tank, it does have an HOB with just a sponge at present.

I moved the contents by myself and managed to stir up the sand too much, so it is still foggy in these pics, but it will show a variety of "substrate" once it settles. I have a mixture of reef rocks, most of which I made (maybe all, but covered with coralline I can't recall individual pieces) along with some rubble from live rock tanks, some large slate pebbles, a partial sand bed, and a couple of dried corals of the sort that you can buy all over the keys- one blue, 1 white. If it seems to need help stabilizing at the desire pH and alk, I may add in some crushed coral beneath the tallus, but I cannot say for certain, and I may decide I don't like the bracken look altogether.

The light is a cheapy for now, and the top is a bit too covering/enclosing, but I'll swap that out as I decide what I need. No deepwater corals, and tidepool macros suggest I should be able to get away with treating it more like a freshwater planted tank, so I may just get a better bulb and add some risers so less heat gets to the tank, but I'll be eyeballing LEDs that will still look nice in an office setting- maybe a mini canopy to match the stand.

Target fish population is currently only a catalina and a fluffy sculpin with assorted inverts getting to show off a bit more than the norm.
 

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When you get a catilina goby please post a pic they are one of my favorites just can see myself running a chiller to much money. Goodluck and keep us posted
 

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Discussion Starter #3
No chiller to start, but it will still be at the upper end of it's ideal range, so I won't rule it out altogether. I may have to go with an oversized cannister just to completely get heat sources away from the tankwater.

I'll definitely be posting more pictures, so long as I don't keep throwing my camera on the floor.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
A/C keeps that office chilly, but the light will have to go sooner than expected. My predecessor kept a portable heater on most of the year while the rest of us were running fans. Outside the tank in that spot the desk read 65°, but the tank water was holding steady at 72°. Some would be from the circulation pump, I know, but I wasn't expecting that much of a jump.
 
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