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Old 02-07-2007, 09:13 PM   #1
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10 gal FOWLR to 30 gal reef upgrade diary...new pics 6/1/07

Things are getting started for my planned upgrade from my 10 gallon FOWLR to a 30 gallon reef. May not seem like a huge upgrade but I really wanted to go reef and I already had the 30, so that helped minimize (or at least justify) the cost.

So here is the 10 gallon now:



Tank specs:
30 g long
Bak Pak 2 skimmer
4x39 watt T5 lighting, 2 10000K and 2 actinic (Current Nova Extreme)
100 watt Visitherm stealth heater

Will have:
30 lbs Aragamax sand
2 Maxi Jet 900 PHs (230 gph each)
the 20 lbs LR from the 10 gallon, plus more as I get some
1 reef ball (more on that later)

Livestock:
from the 10g:
6 line wrasse
feather duster
Astraea snails
Nassarius snails
dwarf zebra hermits

Hope to add:
some more dusters
cleaner shrimp
fish?? not sure what else to get
zoos, mushrooms and other soft corals.

Here is the 30 about 1/3 full of DI (I bring water home from work so takes a few days). The sand, salt mix and powerheads have been ordered, so just waiting for those to arrive before taking the next steps.



Closeup of the T5s:


Apartment with the 30g and the planted 55. This will be a really nice pic once the 30 is set up and running:

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Old 02-07-2007, 09:34 PM   #2
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Awesome!! That 30 looks as big as the 55 in that last pic!
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Old 02-07-2007, 09:37 PM   #3
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Yeah, I guess it does....it really is just a 30 long, and the other tank is a 55, but the 30 was a lot closer to the camera. As it was I was crammed into the corner at the bottom of the stairs trying to get both tanks in the pic!

I am soooo excited about setting up this tank.. Can't wait to get all the supplies and get going.
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Old 02-07-2007, 09:40 PM   #4
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looks awesome! that will be about 5.2 wpg so ya you could go with the zoa's, shrooms, and other softies,
what is that red fish in the 10? it doesnt look like a six line...
you could add.....

cardinalfish, I have a PJ and like the high fin, both are awesome, shy fish.
you could get
clown fish
royal gramma
blenny's
goby's
cardinal fish
fire fish (if you add a glass top)
fish along those lines!!! cant wait to see how this progresses!
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Old 02-07-2007, 10:46 PM   #5
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I'm thinking of a gramma, and maybe 1 other fish, but haven't decided what that fish will be....I have a while to think anyway!

That is a 6 line in the 10g, awesome fish. Gotta love those googly eyes.
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Old 02-07-2007, 11:24 PM   #6
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I am going to have to get me a 6line...everyone seems to love theirs. I've never seen one at any LFS I use.
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Old 02-08-2007, 10:39 AM   #7
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wow your six line is RED, mine is not so red, its rather blue!
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Old 02-08-2007, 03:51 PM   #8
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Looks very nice newfound. Pretty impressive
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Old 02-10-2007, 02:53 PM   #9
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Tank's all filled, ready to go, just waiting for that big box to arrive from the good Drs. Foster and Smith with my salt, sand, PHs and other goodies.....
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Old 02-10-2007, 04:04 PM   #10
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Be almost like Christmas day, wont it.
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Old 02-15-2007, 09:42 PM   #11
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looks sweet...im just starting to set up my 29 gallon, since ive had it torn down for almost a year! A goby shrimp pair might also be neat in your tank.
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Old 02-15-2007, 11:32 PM   #12
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Lookin' great newfound! How do you like that T-5 so far? I'm wondering if I'm going to have to change out some of the bulbs on mine...I'm not sure though.

Can't wait to see the tank all decked out.
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Old 02-16-2007, 01:14 PM   #13
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Got my salt, sand and powerheads on Wednesday! Everything is in and running, but the sand doesn't seem to want to settle. As of this morning (Fri AM) the tank still looks the same. Debating whether or not to wait it out or break out the diatom filter and get all that stuff out of there. Any ideas?

DT, I haven't really run the lights too much yet as I don't have anything living in there. Does your fan turn on and off with one set of lights or not? Mine just turns on when it's plugged in and is also louder than I would like. What were you thinking of switching as far as the bulbs go?

Tank full of water, lights on, new PHs and heater in place and running:


Sand in....washed it a lot but still really cloudy.....


Nice surface agitation with the two Maxi-Jet 900s
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Old 02-16-2007, 03:00 PM   #14
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you might want to leave the powerheads off and give it a day or two to settle.
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Old 02-16-2007, 08:58 PM   #15
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looks great! your 6line sure is a freindl lil fishy!! such a cute pic.
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Old 02-22-2007, 06:53 PM   #16
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More pics! Got the old rock in, added 13 lbs of new rock plus the reef ball, moved the fish, and yesterday got one lonely little Ricordia (for free!). I'm hoping to get more corals next week.

One interesting note, when i moved the LR out of the 10 gallon I found a 4" brittle star under one of the rocks....had NEVER seen it in 6 months!

Question for everyone....my skimmer (a Bak Pak) is REALLY loud....are they always this loud? it's driving me nuts, and I'm really thinking of just running it during the day as it is keeping me up at night, my apt has a lofted bedroom so even though the tank is downstairs it's essentially in the same room.

Whole tank:

Fishie with his reef ball, which he loves:

New mushroom:
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Old 02-23-2007, 12:08 AM   #17
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Cool looking tank! Mr. Sixline looks happy.

Bout the skimmer...I don't think it should be that loud, but I've never owned a BakPak, so I dunno. Have you tried to see if it's vibrating against anything? Clean the powerhead? Anything like that?
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Old 02-23-2007, 12:02 PM   #18
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I am getting a new powerhead to have on hand just in case, but I think I will clean the old one when I get back next week.

the wrasse is so happy in his new tank! Very excited about having more room, I imagine.

I am definitely still on the steep part of the learning curve as far as aquascaping SW tanks....I can do a FW planted just fine, but dealing with exclusively hardscape still has me a little baffled. I know I need a lot more rock, and I think some smaller pieces would give me some more flexibility, but somehow I came back from hte LFS with three pieces that didn't look too big in the store but were huge in the tank!
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Old 03-09-2007, 03:55 PM   #19
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Update: got another feather duster, a cleaner shrimp, and a royal gramma. Should be getting a bunch of corals in the mail (gotta love eBay!) on Tuesday so will update once those go in. I'm actually glad the shipment got delayed as we had record cold this week in the northeast.

So....shrimp and duster are happy. No problems there. Right after I took these pics I noticed my Caulerpa (which had been getting whitish) was getting that net-like appearance which means Impending Doom so I yanked almost all of it out. Too bad as I really liked it as a nutrient sponge. There are a few pieces left so hopefully they are OK and can stay. Next thing, I have a ton of "fuzz" growing on everything....the sand, the rocks, the glass. it is some kind of algae but it's not hair algae, it's more transparent to yellowish, the shrimp and hermits seem to like to eat it but I don't think I have enough snails to keep up with it. The LFS was out of Astraeas so that will have to wait a while. Anyone know what this is? I did have a brief diatom bloom but that is now gone. Good thing is that the coralline is spreading fast, especially on the new live rock which didn't look too "alive" when I got it but is making a nice comeback.

Now for the bad news.....Mr. cute little innocent 6 line wrasse took one look at the royal gramma and tore into him. The gramma tried to defend himself but those wrasses have big nasty teeth. The gramma is now holed up in a rock, I can just see him, but he's not a happy fishie. I'm wondering if I am going to be able to put any other reef-safe fish in the tank with the wrasse....I was thinking yellow tailed damsels might be feisty enough to defend themselves but not also kill the wrasse? Any thoughts?

Anyway, here are some pics, pre-Caulerpa removal. The weird little thing on the sand in the full tank pic is a mangrove seedling I brought back from Florida....I thought it would float but I guess not!:



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Old 03-09-2007, 05:00 PM   #20
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Those 6 lines will pick on other fish that are easily intimidated. You may want to think about taking the RG back, mine didn't make it more than a day, when he was chased around (that was a noob mistake, poor little guy). A Kaudern's Cardinalfish might be ok. I've never owned one, so you might want to wait for more experienced advice.
Not sure what the fuzz stuff is, without a pic.
Nice pictures!
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