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Old 10-11-2011, 07:00 PM   #1
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Nik's 45 Gallon Build

Hey all! After 4 months of immense challenge, I finally am ready to launch a thread about my 45 Gallon build!

I am new to Salt Water here in Phoenix, AZ, coming over from the Fresh Water side. I originally started my 45 gallon in Mid-June, with approximately 50 lbs. of live rock from the LFS I continuously frequent; and 40 lbs. of sand.

I am running a HOB AquaClear 70 filter, 2 Koralia Evolutions (750 gph and 550 gph), 120 watts of lighting [1 Nova Extreme t5 dual 39 Watt (78 watts total from 1 white 10,000K and 1 Actinic 460nm blue bulbs), 1 Coralife dual linear Aqualight (2x21 Watt, total 42 watts)], Instant Ocean Sea Salt, API Reef and Master SW kits, and 3 lbs. of live rubble in the HOB filter.

After cycling tank with the live rock, the build was ready to go in July and we added 2 Black/Orange Oscellari Clowns. We added 1 Diamond Watchmen Goby and 1 Skunk Cleaner shrimp in August. In august we also added our clean-up crew (several hermits and Snails- Astrea and Nerite). My tank readings remained great with Nitrates averaging 5-10 despite weekly PWCs.



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In Mid-August we attempted to add a Dwarf Flame Angel after 1 week of quarantine. Unfortunately, I learned my first major lesson due to my stubbornness and excitement towards adding a "centerpiece fish" to our display. Day 5 in the display tank was a brutal one; the Flame Angel showed physical signs of ICH - white spots/pimples everywhere. It definitely wasn't a fun experience but it was a huge learning experience. Before I got the quarantines back up and running (15 gallon tall and 20 gallon long), the Flame Angel died the next morning.

The clowns started showing signs of ICH within a few days of QT. I started a two week copper treatment for the Clowns and Goby in the 15 Gallon tall while leaving the tank fallow.

The QT-Copper treatment was successful!

Upon entering week 4 of leaving the display tank fallow, I ordered a Coral Beauty Dwarf Angel and a Midas Blenny from Live Aquaria. The experience was awesome but I again, had either bad luck with this investment or I may have done something wrong. The Coral Beauty died after the first 24 hours with head in the hole disease and fin-tail rot.



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Live Aquaria said that both of those diseases could not have been caused by my 20 gal long QT as those diseases don't just show up out of nowhere especially in a uninhabited QT tank with cycled parameters and filtration. My readings were 0 across the board.

On the Midas Blenny's 13th day, he died as well. After a few days of hiding out and discoloration (stress and blending in) He began eating well, swimming, perching, etc and showing amazing signs of health, comfort, and color; Again, all parameters were great. LA mentioned he was a brand new shipment that hadn't been established for less than a few days in their system. LA credited my purchase and allowed me to order whatever I so pleased when I felt ready.

Before placing a re-order, I purchased 50 lbs of base rock from Reef Cleaners. I ended up adding 7 of the 9 pieces RC sent to the display tank (approximately 40 lbs). The rock scape looks amazing and we are so pleased with the caves and numerous holes.

As far as my re-order, I ended up ordering a smaller Coral Beauty, Yellow Polyp, Green Star Polyp, a Candy Cane Coral, a emerald crab, and a few more hermit (zebra) and snails ( Nerite).

This shipment came in wonderfully and everything looked great! After drip acclimating the inverts/coral and dipping the coral, I added everything to the display tank (week 6 of fallow). I drip acclimate the coral and placed him into the 20 Gallon Long QT.



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2 weeks ago I added the clowns and goby back to our display and tank and I am so thrilled to say that there have been no signs of ICH or any non-sensical junk!

This past Friday I added the newer Coral Beauty to the display tank following 2 successful weeks of QT.

The clowns, diamond watchmen goby, Coral Beauty, emerald crab, skunk cleaner, corals, snails and hermit crabs have been amazing! Everyone is eating well, behaving well, and a joy to watch!

I do know I am rolling the dice with the Coral Beauty and my coral, but I have kept both QTs up and running in case of emergency and also if he begins to mis-behave while trying to nip at the coral.

Here are some pictures, I do hope you enjoy them and look forward to sharing the future of our 45 with all of you. This is a great place for learning and for any newbies out there reading, everyone seems to know what they're talking about (Carey, Doug, and many more). The advice on here is spot-on, and I do hope we all continue to find success with this beautiful hobby! I definitely learned the hard way with QT/Patience/ICH. That crap isn fun but it is well worth it. The past 2+ weeks of ICH free display tank have been, just remarkably awesome!



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Old 10-11-2011, 07:39 PM   #2
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Sounds like you've had a couple of set backs, but glad everything is going well now mate! Looks good
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Old 10-11-2011, 07:53 PM   #3
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Thanks Matt! Definitely enjoyable throughout the entire process!
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Old 10-11-2011, 08:02 PM   #4
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The emerald crab!

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Old 10-12-2011, 01:33 AM   #5
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Super stoked! Past 4 water tests have revealed perfect readings across the board and my nitrates have lowered from an average of 5-10 to approximately 2.5 (0-5).

Would this be due to adding the 40 lbs of base rock with the 50 lbs live rock I had in the tank already; hence creating an even larger biological filter?
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