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Old 03-24-2014, 12:49 AM   #1
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Want to have a reef tank...

Okay so...
I started my 55 gallon tank about 4 years ago. Initially it was a brackish tank full of beautiful figure 8 and green spotted puffers. At the time I had 2 HOB filters (400gph) each, a heater, and the Deep Blue 48" HO T-5 lights. Loved the tank and with only about 4 hours of light a day, I had perfect water parameters, no algae, no problems.


Soon afterI fell in love with the idea of anemones...
I gave away my beautiful puffers and converted the tank into salt water and kept all the same equipment. I always thought my filters did a pretty good job (and to this day completely believe that) and I slowly started trying to turn my little aquarium into one of those gorgeous reef tanks - I kept mostly some zoas, 2 beautiful anemones, and all sorts of crabs, stars, snails, and shrimp. Sadly, after Hurricane Sandy hit, we lost power for quite some time and as you may imagine that caused havoc on my tank (total annihilation)
Fast forward to now:
The T5 system broke (I replaced parts, bulbs, spoke with Deep blue -nothing could be done)
Recently bought the Fluval Sea 48-57" LED light fixture (692 LEDs -2,340 LM -7,825 LUX -25,000K - 6 different types of LEDs including 400 420 440 460nm)
I have an overflow going into Eshopps Wet DrySystem.
I have a pump which has 500 GPH capabilities.
I recently bought the Aqueon 950 circulation pump and the Aqueon 700.

This system (minus the light and circulation pumps) has been running since November 2012

Livestock:
Niger Trigger (I know that they get big, I usually trade my bigger fish back for smaller fish)
Small domino damsel
Small blue damsel
Small clownfish

Hermit crabs (~10) Niger does not seem to bother them
Snails (~5-10)
Small feather dusters on live rock
My guilty pleasure: Condy anemone (bought her/him about 1 week ago)

My readings are as follows
1.023 SG
8.3 PH
0 nitrates
0 nitrites
0 phosphates (on top of this all the time)
0 ammonia

My temperature is 78 F
I change about 10-15 gallons of water a week using RODI water from LFS and mix it with reef salt
I also add a small amount of trace minerals but I have never tested for them
About 5-7 hours of light - depends on my schedule

That's pretty much it. It has been a mundane and boring tank since Nov 2012 and I want to spruce things up. Like I said, I buy fish pretty small and once they grow a bit I trade them (or just give them away) to my LFS

I would like to maybe start with some button polyps and see how they thrive in my tank.
My only concern would be my light and the fact that the Condy avoids it like hell hath no fury. I put her on a top rock, she anchored her foot on the rock and crawled towards the back of the rock where there is less light, I turned the rock around so that she could be in more light, she once again moved towards the dark area. Repeated this once more and gave up. When I had anemones before they gravitated towards the top or stayed in the middle of the tank. I have been told that the LED unit seems to be quite strong for some corals. Maybe that's it?
Anyways.
Went to look at some zoas last week, saw the following
Small "radioactive zoas" (about 8-10 heads) for $40
Small colony of "button polyps" (about 4-5 heads) for $20

Seemed to be a steep price for these, so I will continue to check around.
I will upload some photos of my tank tomorrow.
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Old 03-24-2014, 01:04 AM   #2
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Oh and I realized that the Aqueon 950 circulation pump might be a bit too much for my tank. ( I wanted to make sure the Nem gets enough circulation)
My fish were shocked ! I put it on the very top on the shorter side so it goes horizontally across the whole tank.
I like all the movement in the water but scared it might be too much.
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Old 03-24-2014, 12:40 PM   #3
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Will this be a tank log? Or...?
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Old 03-24-2014, 01:06 PM   #4
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That's not to much water movement IMO. If anything it is on the lower end for a tank that size. Also, that light is pretty low lighting. Condys don't need as much light as a lot of other nems. I'd stop trying to move it, that just stresses it more. Let it go where it wants
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Old 03-24-2014, 06:12 PM   #5
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I will use this as a tank log on which I can read others helpful advice

I bought the LED light because it was $63 after coupons and sale price ( I was sick of my two temporary T5 bulbs)
I am looking into the lights that Mr.X uses in his tank, which he states are inexpensive but valuable.
These are PAR readings of the smaller sized Fluval Sea light (which only has 504 LEDs)
Click image for larger version

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I wonder what the par reading are for 692 LEDs.
And if I put another strip just like the one I have and how it will affect the PAR.
Curious curious, going to see where I can buy a PAR meter.
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Old 03-24-2014, 06:14 PM   #6
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Interesting I've never seen their par numbers. That isn't actually as horrendous as I thought it'd be. If you get a par meter I'd definitely be interested in the results
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Old 03-24-2014, 06:25 PM   #7
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The trouble is, those measurements were taken with the Seneye PAR meter, which I read was inaccurate. Keep the fixture though, and add some softies and see how they react. If the anemone is hiding, then it should be enough light for it at least.
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Old 03-24-2014, 06:36 PM   #8
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Hmm thank you for letting me know that. I looked at the Apogee MQ-200 PAR meter and it seems like a lot of money for a simple and short experiment.
A softy is a coral that does not have a calcium carbonate skeleton -so ones like:
Mushrooms
leathers
Zoas

I will go and check out some stores and see what I can find. I find it very daunting to go fish/coral shopping in NYC - there is such a HUGE range of prices.
Maybe find a small colony of mushrooms and see how they do. If they do not seem to do well I will probably try the par meter
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Old 03-25-2014, 07:40 AM   #9
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In this thread, Carey ended up with a fixture similar to yours and she is having some luck with it. Check the last few pages and compare the two fixtures.
Carey's 40b Reef Build
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Old 03-25-2014, 08:49 AM   #10
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Thanks you Mr X for that. If she is having some luck with her fixture, I think I will too. Especially that there are more LEDs and more different spectrums of blue light.
Hopefully today I will go see some corals in NJ, but first I must research which places to go to.
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