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Old 07-25-2021, 12:45 AM   #1
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20g cube : A Reintroduction to the Reef

Well I figured since I added the first inhabitants to the new tank yesterday it was time to make a thread for the new aio. So after about 5 years now I decided it was time to get back into the reefing world and always wanted to try an aio cube tank. So the system specs are as follows

Tank - JBJ nano 20 cube

Rear compartment hardware - intake media basket, Ehiem Jager 150w heater, jaebo 1200 return pump

Flow - Icecap 2k gyre, hygger mini

Lighting - AI Prime 16hd

Salt - Red Sea blue, may switch to reef crystals, but all they had locally in the lower alk mixes.

The goal was to attempt a NSA style aquascape to best utilize the cube style of the tank, and was also the first time Iíve attempted anything like this. Had a little under 25 lbs of BRS reef saver rock that I split with a chisel and hammer to make more manageable to work with. And I ordered a BRS medium foundation rock for the base. And used aragalive special grade sand.

Start




The base


The details


Set up




Top down (inverted for some reason)


Final scape and got it wet July 2nd


For the cycle, on a friends advice, I tried fritz turbo start and was pleasantly surprised. I was able to dose pure ammonia up to 2ppm and covert it out in 24 hours in 11 days, I kept dosing the tank for the next 10 days or so and did a pair of about a 90% water changes and went to the lfs yesterday. Picked out a nice tiny pair of black ice clowns, was only going to get one but they gave me a good deal for the pair since one wasnít quite ďup to gradeĒ for a black ice, whatever that means. A short drip later I was officially back in the salt water game.

Clowns, best pic I could get, Iíll try again Iím sure.


And of course the fts

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Old 07-25-2021, 12:53 AM   #2
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So game plan from here is to just let it run for a month or so as is, no lights or coral or anything to let things stabilize and try and keep the ugly stage a short as possible. I havenít even hooked the light up to the tank yet, just did a little playing with it when it arrived. One of the custom presets on BRS makes it look like a blue + dominant t5 set up which I absolutely love and am super excited to try. And then I imagine their will be a lot of zoas and rics and would love an elegance for the right front. Fish wise Iím leaning towards a yasha pistol combo, tail spot blenny or a clown goby or possibly both since they all have small bio loads and different areas they prefer to be in the tank. Weíll see how it goes but Iím glad to be back in the hobby.
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Old 07-25-2021, 06:40 AM   #3
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Looks great man! Good to see you back in it.. on the salt Iíve always been a reef crystals guy but I switched to normal instant ocean as reef crystals kept my alk to high. Iíve heard good things of the blue bucket Red Sea
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Old 07-25-2021, 07:05 AM   #4
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Looking good man. I've thought about a downgrade recently. Still fighting aiptasia after 3 years does that to a man I guess lol.
Keep us posted.
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Old 07-25-2021, 07:10 AM   #5
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Looking good man. I've thought about a downgrade recently. Still fighting aiptasia after 3 years does that to a man I guess lol.
Keep us posted.


Have you tried berghias? I’ve got a few aiptasia in my tank I can’t seem to kill with aiptasia x and was contemplating getting 4-5.
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Old 07-25-2021, 09:28 AM   #6
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Have you tried berghias? Iíve got a few aiptasia in my tank I canít seem to kill with aiptasia x and was contemplating getting 4-5.
Head over to my thread, it is all documented. And no, they didn't work.

In terms of salt though Red, I'm always a fan of whatever is on sale. I think it was the blue bucket of red sea I liked? I don't remember tbh. What I do remember is just hating mixing IO salt no matter what it was. Don't recall why I feel that way though.
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Old 07-25-2021, 10:08 AM   #7
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Thanks guys, I havenít actually tested any of the levels yet so Iím just going off the info they provide but weíll see how it goes. Itís usually available locally so I can always grab some in an emergency so I may just stick with it, and the lfs that Iíll probably get the most coral from uses it so that may be a plus too. I might put the light on the tank today just to see what it looks like. Iíd also like to get to the hardware store and make a screen top, but unsure if I want to order the mesh from BRS since I feel like itíll let more light through and donít want to ruin the rimless look with egg crate.
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Old 07-26-2021, 01:46 PM   #8
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This should be a good teaching aid to salties out there. Follow Big red as he is quite experienced in SW
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Old 08-01-2021, 12:21 AM   #9
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Fun to watch this start up!!!
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Old 08-01-2021, 03:33 PM   #10
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This should be a good teaching aid to salties out there. Follow Big red as he is quite experienced in SW


Thanks Mel, I feel like Iím learning all over but Iím sure Iím over thinking it.

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Fun to watch this start up!!!


Thanks autumn, Iím excited for it and enjoying it so far.

Well little over a week with life in the tank and still no algae or really any diatoms yet, think the lights off is helping. No ammonia spikes or elevated nitrates, need to order an accurate test still but nitrates appear to be about 5ppm. Thinking of picking up a hermit to scavenge any of the pellets the clowns miss as they seem to be inconsistent when eating, some times they go nuts and eat all the pellets really fast and some times they just grab 2-3 and then seem to ignore anything else, and they seem to enjoy NLS growth best which is very small and hard to get out. Plan on ordering my Hannah phosphate and nitrate HR testers this week as well. In terms of future plans Iím about 99% sure this is going to be a zoa and rfa extremely dominant tank with a possible fuzzy stick or 2 Iím sure.
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Old 08-01-2021, 09:18 PM   #11
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Ha! RFA??? I'm glued to the thread.
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Old 08-01-2021, 11:16 PM   #12
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Thereís even more crazy zoa morphs nowadays! You can get some gmks or little shop of horrors for $250 a polyp lol
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Old 08-01-2021, 11:43 PM   #13
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YOU can get those...I will just look thanks!
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Old 08-01-2021, 11:55 PM   #14
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20g cube : A Reintroduction to the Reef

Quote:
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Thereís even more crazy zoa morphs nowadays! You can get some gmks or little shop of horrors for $250 a polyp lol


Haha, ya Iím sure. I donít plan on going that crazy, maybe a few 20-30 pp morphs but thatís about max for me. My buddy actually has a lot of the old zoas still growing from my last 10 and is fragging them soon and going to let them heal and grow out for me so Iíll get a nice start for free. Also thinking about a leather to grow over the back corner of the scape possibly and maybe a euphi or 2 for some movement.

Quote:
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Ha! RFA??? I'm glued to the thread.


Always wanted to do a nice rfa garden and I think this scape will work well for it, and the variety of the local ones Iíve seen is pretty. It also seems the prices havenít sky rocketed like most coral. And that means a porcelain crab or maybe some sexy shrimp for the tank in the future too.

Went ahead and ordered the Hannah checkers and a mesh top kit today too and a new filter/membrane kit for my ro/di unit

And pic for the new page, ok shot of smaller clown

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Old 08-06-2021, 10:11 AM   #15
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20g cube : A Reintroduction to the Reef

Got my nitrate and phosphate testers Wednesday and yesterday and of course had to test them out. 8ppm nitrate and phosphate hanging around .03. I think being that this is going to be a zoa heavy system Iím going to try and run it a little on the dirty side and Iíd like to get that phosphate up to around .08-.1 while keeping nitrates around 10ppm. Also going to build the screen kit this weekend hopefully.

After all the time and thought that went into the scape for this I was very interested in how the fish would utilize the scape and all the hiding spots, ledges, and caves/ overhangs. Well 2 weeks in and the clowns have decided there favorite spot is the sand bed in the right front just behind the glass. They clear out a little divot in the sand and sleep there and spend 90% of the time in that spot (as clowns are want to do) and not gonna lie it annoys me. Hopefully once I add some coral theyíll become more interested in the rock work or hopefully the leather I plan on adding ( really donít want a bta to walk around the tank killing zoas
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Old 08-06-2021, 10:22 AM   #16
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For example, just turned the lights on in the room for the first time so they were sleeping( smaller one runs when the lights kick on)

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Old 08-06-2021, 11:03 AM   #17
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So apparently my sleepy clowns enjoy posing for pics







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Old 08-08-2021, 02:06 PM   #18
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Picked up a couple nassarius snails and a blue leg hermit for the tank today to scavenge anything the clowns miss and as an excuse to check out a new lfs. I was very impressed but the best thing was they have a colony of grandis palys, an all time bucket list polyp for me. They say they have 3 separate grow out colonies each about the size of a dinner plate in the ware house and I reserved 4-5 heads the next time they frag one.

Nassarius



30 seconds later



And the if you havenít seen some grandis before, your welcome

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Old 08-08-2021, 03:41 PM   #19
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Looks good man! Grandis are pretty sweet! What light are you using again?
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Old 08-08-2021, 04:09 PM   #20
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20g cube : A Reintroduction to the Reef

Iíve got an AI Prime 16HD, I think I might start running it for 4-5 hours a day this week at a real low level and see what happens. I really like how easy it is to customize your color with the app, Iíve got it dialed in to almost what my old blue+ dominant t5 setups used to look like which I loved.
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