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Old 09-08-2020, 02:11 PM   #1
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Spidey's 30G Shallow Reef

Hey all, I am back in the hobby. Been a while since I've been around, but I hope to bump into a bunch of people I knew from when I was in.

For a little background, my first tank was probably 12 years ago - started with a 55g reef tank that my dad got me as a gift. I had 0 clue what I was doing and fell in love with the hobby. When I was a kid I always toyed with the idea of getting into marine biology (love the ocean) but that changed a bit since there aren't many oceans near Philly lol. Since then I've owned a bunch of tanks and kept all sorts of corals. Met a bunch of great people along the way and just love the hobby in general (even had the fun time of being at MACNA back with an awesome group of people who started a forum).

Anyway, long story short I got out of the hobby around 5 years ago. I was in the process of getting ready to move/buy a house and I knew we wouldn't have been able to sell a house when I had all sorts of fish tanks plumbed to a basement and had 4 other frag tanks. I literally gave my entire setup away to a friend who was a clown fish breeder. My original pair of clowns is still alive and well - even laying eggs.

This was my old tank
(83g custom rimless tank with a 75g tank along with a few frag tanks plumbed in - everyone likes looking at tank pics lol).





Alright, so all that being said - here is my new tank currently -_- It is very empty at the moment so please bear with me.

Equipment List:
  • Tank/Stand - Micro 30L External Overflow Aquarium - NUVO-EXT 30 Gallons - Innovative Marine Dims: 36"x15"x13" - Ext. Overflow Dims: 7.9"x3.5"x5.9"
  • Light - PopBloom 36" 3ft Marine Led Aquarium Light Led Reef Light Fish Tank Lights For Aquarium MJ7BP1
  • Skimmer - Sc Aquariums SCA-301 (currently offline, might go skimmerless)
  • Powerhead - Vortech Mp10
  • Return Pump - MD18 Danner Model 18B Utility Pump (1800gph)
  • Heater/Temp Controller - Inkbird ITC-308S and Aqueon 150w
  • Sump - Eshopps RS75

So here are the photos of the 30g tank from when I got it till now:

The post on Craigslist and what I paid for it lol -


Where the tank was going to go and some of my paintings (you can tell I never left the hobby):




The tank when I picked it up:



The tank when I cleaned it up in front of my house:


The tank in place to see what it would look like:


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Old 09-08-2020, 02:15 PM   #2
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The sump/plumbing sketches and hard plumb:




Some 3D Printed Parts:
https://i.imgur.com/GHmVVFs.mp4
https://i.imgur.com/VwrWV6f.mp4

Wire organization:


Aquascaping:



FINALLY a FTS


Some of the inhabitants:


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Old 09-08-2020, 02:18 PM   #3
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Some of the frags in the tank at the moment:

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Old 09-08-2020, 02:25 PM   #4
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So, some of the issues I've had so far are chalked up to not knowing the intensity of this light. I've bleached a couple SPS frags (nothing has died yet thankfully).

This led to me renting a PAR meter from BRS and doing some tests on the light.

This was the grid/location of the par measurements:






All this being said, I am still unsure how much PAR for how long I should be running. Someone on another forum threw the term of DLI into the mix.

That being said, I am leaning toward starting it down low (100 PAR mid for 12 hours) and working up from there. Any input is appreciated. It seems like a lot of reef tanks now are running just blues in the 420-430nm range as their sole source of PAR.
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Old 09-09-2020, 09:08 AM   #5
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That's really nice. How did you like the PAR meter you rented? It work well?
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Old 09-09-2020, 10:11 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sniperhank View Post
That's really nice. How did you like the PAR meter you rented? It work well?
It worked surprisingly well. Considering the light was a lot stronger than I knew - without it I would have been frying corals left and right lol.

In fact, the preset light schedule the lights have in their program would have melted a bunch of my corals. Would have been around 400-500 PAR on the top section, like 400 on the sand.

Below you can see the specs on the light and the setting it had for the "vivid color" mode.


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Old 09-10-2020, 06:59 AM   #7
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Yep. I've been talking about the intensity of LEDs since they penetrate water so well for a long time. I fried a lot with my first set of Radions.
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Old 09-10-2020, 08:53 PM   #8
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Looking great (without much SW knowledge ). Nice to read through on it coming together.
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Old 09-10-2020, 10:07 PM   #9
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Yep. I've been talking about the intensity of LEDs since they penetrate water so well for a long time. I fried a lot with my first set of Radions.
I am really noticing that LEDs in general are much stronger than they look. Eyes really aren't a good indicator on how "strong" the lights are since our eyes auto adjust. Renting a PAR meter was a great investment, these corals would have been fried if I were judging off my eyes. I am even thinking about buying a Seneye meter ($200) - probably the most affordable PAR meter out there.

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Looking great (without much SW knowledge ). Nice to read through on it coming together.
Thank you I can appreciate both FW and SW tanks. Definitely beauty in both.

So, here is an update -
seems the tank is doing it's job and becoming a nitrate factory lol. I tested yesterday with a Red Sea test kit and was a bit surprised - No3 was around 20ppm or higher. Granted, I wasn't able to tell with any certainty that was the number because light really matters when reading the test kit. Either way, I'd rather err on the side of caution and start planning for when the nitrates really can become a problem

Really can't stand trying to decipher colors with test kits - Hanna needs to hurry up with those testers lol.


To deal with the current issue, did quick 5gal (12.5%) water change and tested again with two test kits. Many more water changes to come.

The next steps in the tank are to get something installed for nitrate reduction. I ordered a 3 reactor kit for nanos that will include a cheato reactor, a bio media reactor, and another small reactor for media of my choice.

This is how they will look when I get them installed -



I am leaning toward NPX Biopellets, I hear good things about it for what it does. The planned outlet is going to be right next to the protein skimmer intake.

Since the skimmer is working well and pulling some gunk, might as well put it to work


Here are the reactors I ordered.



Anyone's feed back on running bio rectors on smaller tanks is appreciated.
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Old 09-13-2020, 11:09 PM   #10
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Be interested in how you find the Seneye par meter if you get it. I got one for a planted tank and found it useful but maybe easier with plants.
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Old 09-14-2020, 10:26 PM   #11
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Be interested in how you find the Seneye par meter if you get it. I got one for a planted tank and found it useful but maybe easier with plants.
Did you use it for all the features? Or was it solely for the PAR meter?
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Old 09-15-2020, 04:42 AM   #12
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Did you use it for all the features? Or was it solely for the PAR meter?


Just for the PAR meter mainly. I tried the others but didnít really need them. I canít remember which one - ph maybe? - it had a panic attack when ph dropped from the CO2 injection so I didnít worry about trying to monitor those.
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Old 09-15-2020, 10:05 AM   #13
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Just for the PAR meter mainly. I tried the others but didnít really need them. I canít remember which one - ph maybe? - it had a panic attack when ph dropped from the CO2 injection so I didnít worry about trying to monitor those.
Gotcha - makes sense. Did you get the whole webserver version? I was messing around with the idea of getting it but for the webserver it seems more expensive than it's worth.

If anything, $200 for a PAR meter is worth it to me lol.
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Old 09-15-2020, 10:17 PM   #14
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Spidey's 30G Shallow Reef

Quote:
Originally Posted by spideybry View Post
Gotcha - makes sense. Did you get the whole webserver version? I was messing around with the idea of getting it but for the webserver it seems more expensive than it's worth.



If anything, $200 for a PAR meter is worth it to me lol.


I think I got a free period of use and also a couple of the test pads so played with it all a little for a few months until it all expired but must confess didnít really need it so just looked at it mainly.

Yeah, good price I thought. I was going to get a PAR meter from the US but it fell through on shipping. Seneye was available here so I thought good price for all I needed it for. I did assume that it must be reasonable for SW as that seems another step up in expense lol and I assumed people wouldnít be so forgiving if equipment doesnít work.
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Old 09-17-2020, 10:52 PM   #15
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Beautiful tanks. Iím excited to see how this one turns out!
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Old 09-19-2020, 01:17 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Delapool View Post
I think I got a free period of use and also a couple of the test pads so played with it all a little for a few months until it all expired but must confess didnít really need it so just looked at it mainly.

Yeah, good price I thought. I was going to get a PAR meter from the US but it fell through on shipping. Seneye was available here so I thought good price for all I needed it for. I did assume that it must be reasonable for SW as that seems another step up in expense lol and I assumed people wouldnít be so forgiving if equipment doesnít work.
I am holding off on getting it at the moment. For now, I think I have the lights tuned to where I like them and I have a decent formula setup for figuring out the PAR at certain points. I may get the Seneye for the spectrum reading it gives though. I've always been curious what mine looks like.

In reality, I'd mostly use the Seneye for that, since the Ph, NH3, and NO3 need these special tabs that must be switched monthly and probably aren't that accurate.

Quote:
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Beautiful tanks. Iím excited to see how this one turns out!
Thanks, me too So far the tank is going through some cyano (I am not worried yet). May get some red slime remover and hit it with that soon though.

On the plus side, looks like my duncan coral is budding some new heads.

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Old 09-19-2020, 01:45 PM   #17
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Nice! Looks like a few new heads! Gonna be a beautiful mini colony in a week or so
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Old 09-27-2020, 08:49 PM   #18
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So it is time for an update.

Unfortunately I find myself fighting back dinos. What I initially thought was cyano, turned out to be dinos I presume. I would go through the entire process of getting a microscope and trying to confirm, but at this point I am just going to go the route of the blanket method and do everything I can to fix things.

Here are some horrible photos (silver lining is that I am getting coralline growth):


Sad FTS atm..


After recently testing, I found my No3 to be down near 0 and my Po4 around .1 ish.

First course of action for me:
  1. Raise No3 a bit to at least 5ppm (I was using Purigen in preparation for a biopellet reactor so I am removing Purigen)
  2. Siphoning out all that I can daily
  3. Dip zoa frags that are covered in dinos and showing signs of being stressed
  4. Dosing Microbacter 7 + Vibrant
  5. Look into potentially H202 dosing
  6. Get carbon into a reactor
  7. Lower light intensity

On the flip side, I do have some good news. There is a happy new addition to the tank - a mystery wrasse along with a bunch of new frags. Here are the "nice photos".






Also I do have some signs of growth, some zoas are popping off new heads and my duncan coral is showing considerable growth.

This was the duncan on 9/19:


The duncan today (9/27):



Currently I am reeling and trying to absorb all the info I can to help fight the dinos, so any info is appreciated.


Oh, as a side note, I'll have to thank Tropic Marin USA for helping me out.

When I initially went to setup this tank, I went to my LFS and grabbed a 200g sack of what I thought was Tropic Marin Classic. After setting up the tank and getting everything situated, I noticed a couple weeks ago that I was chasing some numbers in terms of Alk/Calc/Mag. I decided to do a bit of research and found that my salt sack was actually Tropic Marin ZOO Mix... I do some research and can't find anything in writing online that breaks down the concentrations of this specific mix so I called up Tropic Marin USA. Turns out this specific mix was not to be sold for hobbyists to use (I guess if the system was large enough it'd be okay), and that this mix contains mag chips which - if used in a smaller mixing quantity - can be inconsistent.

So, PSA - make sure you get the right salt. Tropic Marin is thankfully helping me out and getting me a new bucket.

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Old 09-28-2020, 10:39 AM   #19
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I don't see dinos. I see a spot of grumpy cyanobacteria. Adjust flow, keep up with water changes.
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Old 09-28-2020, 01:21 PM   #20
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I don't see dinos. I see a spot of grumpy cyanobacteria. Adjust flow, keep up with water changes.
Even though my no3 and po4 are down near 0?

I do have some chemiclean I could throw at it as a first measure though. The tank has a ton of flow as it is at the moment I feel - maybe I could throw another small powerhead in there.

One of the reasons I am leaning toward dinos is because the way it tends to string up around and on top of my zoas specifically, and the zoas do not like it one bit... I've attached a few more photos to help with identification maybe.




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