I have been wanting to write up this post for a while but I didn't want to write it prematurely.
I inherited my Father's saltwater setup back in April. I had a freshwater community tank before my dad gave me his equipment. While he didn't give me everything, he gave me a HOB
filter, marineland reef capable led
light, about 30 pounds of live rock, and his heater. I was strapped for money but was excited about the prospect of starting my own reef tank. I had been given a 37 gallon aquarium from a friend so I started out in the research. I picked up a seaclone protein skimmer for cheap so I was on my way. After buying new sand, extra base rock to get me to about 50 pounds of rock I set the tank up.
I am a researcher and so reading opinions of the equipment I had left me expecting to grow basic corals at best. I didn't have an RODI
filter so I bought some conditioner and used tap water. In many peoples eyes on the internet I was doomed for failure.
I had a
Seaclone protein skimmer
Marineland reef capable led
And I used tap water
I am writing to say my tank has not failed and in fact my corals are actually growing really well. And surprise surprise, I am not just growing mushrooms, but also lps
corals! They aren't just surviving but are colored well and growing.
After researching the water I decided to buy grocery store RO
distilled water for my water changes. In addition, I didn't like the white look of the marineland so I added an innovative marine Skkye actinic light. And I did add a maxi jet for my powerhead.
Until about a month ago my alkalinity was always low but I've been upping that with baking soda and it has stabilized well.
Currently in my tank I am successfully keeping: Zoanthid - 3 colonies
Hollywood stunner chalice
Pom Pom xenia
Two types of birdsnest
Purple Montipora Digitata
Green Bubble Tip Anemone
2 emerald crabs
And a large cleanup crew and about 5 fish
I've only had one snail and one emerald crab die.
I am only writing this to happily say that the internet can really be overly dramatic in saying what you can and cannot do. With bi weekly water changes of 5 gallons things continue to go well with coralline growing a bit on the glass.
I realize things could go south and I would really love a sump but for now what I have is working pretty well keeping the phosphates down (chemi pure elite) and the nitrates undetectable.
Definitely loving this tank!!!