GouramiLover's Nano Reef Build

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I will watch what you do and see if it works. I want to do something like that in my new build too :) I have some stainless chop sticks.

Not too sure about the stainless steel chopsticks, eventually even stainless steel rusts. The acrylic rods I got were 6$ on Amazon prime for 10. They are about the length and width of chopsticks, but clear so even if I don't completely hide them they should be difficult to see :)

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So still waiting for dry rock, super glue gel, and epoxy putty. BUT, I thought I would try my hand at a diy protein skimmer for my tank. I am consistently having a pretty solid layer of film on the surface of the water and I am also getting what looks like Dinoflagellates (snotty brown stuff with bubbles. Since I already change 1 gallon of water a week and I use chemipure and a phosphate absorber in my hob, I am thinking that trying to remove the dissolved solids using a protein skimmer might be the way to go.

So I got a few throw away bottles, a small container, hot glue, rubber bands, wood air stone, and some airline tubing. Most of this I already had with the exception of the air stone.

Anyways, I built the contraption and here it is before securing it the the Hob.

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Here it is bubbling away.

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I just put it in and have had to make a few adjustments in air flow so far. I am think if this as a pro type and I anticipate some changes in the near future.

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The dinoflagellate problem :(

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In other news my St. Thomas mushroom is pretty friggin cool! It is more purple/blue than the picture can capture.

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So it is probably a combination of me adding more phosphate and silica absorber as well as my DIY protein skimmer which is really taking that oily layer completely away.

In other news I got my dry rock today!!!

I have been spending my after noon figuring out what combo works best aka what's most stave by itself and looks decent. Surprisingly I didn't really need the acrylic rods too much, but I am glad I had them. I am pretty positive I used way too much epoxy, but not that you can see.

I first rinsed all the rock really well then let them dry. I then began placing rocks together till I found some combos I liked. I will post pics next of my combos and overuse of epoxy ;)

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First combo front
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First combo back
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Second combo front
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Second combo back
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Second combo close up of 'kickstand'
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Alright, now to possible layouts. These are two I like, but please feel free to chime in if you have a different idea :)

Possible layout #1
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Possible layout #2
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Great job. I like the second layout

Ian thinking the second one as well. I think the rock in the back will allow me to have more rock space for cord as well!

In other news I have prepped my coral for placement in the new tank. I think I will be placing some coral in my new rocks today or tomorrow. I want to attach as many as possible outside of the tank to get a good hold on the rock.

I have planned coral placement so I we have corals that are on opposite sides the the color wheel next to each other. I am hoping this will really make them pop :)

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Alright, coral fastened and new rock placed. I have kept a few smaller pieces of my old live rock in the hob. The other pieces are being stored for a nervy local who wants them.

The corals are mostly closed, but I am liking the rock placement a lot! Piglet is zipping in and out of the new setup :) and as a bonus I can now get all three sides of the glass with my mag float without hitting anything! Whoot whoot!

Pic with regular lights
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Some of the corals are adjusting well! Others just need a good rest I think ;)

Purple zoa ball
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Yellow and green zoas not too happy
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Middle rock & piglet is like 'me too!'. I can't wait till both the mushroom blimp back up to hide their plugs.
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I think I might need to flip my Mohawk zoas with the green sparkly ones, they are getting a lot of shadow :(
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The hammer is loving its new spot!
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Alright FTS update!

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A few close ups

The green and yellow zoas are happy
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The st Thomas mushroom has blimped up nicely
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I'm a little concerned that the red mushroom next to the hammer, I might need to move it over now that it has blimped up.
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A few more pics
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Love the green polyp mushroom leather. Is yours growing well? I really enjoy the one I put in my tank.

Thanks! It was actually my first coral and I am quite fond of it. It's has been growing slowly, but steadily. It has quite the grip on the ugly black rock it came on. Whatever the black rock is it is incredibly hard so I can't simply cut it away. Any advice on getting it to let go?

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No clue...mine was on the same thing.

I take it yours is still on the black rock too? :)

I love the green polyp leather so much I just overlook it's ugly rock. I am getting in some rasta zoas next week and I am thinking of placing them nearby the leather's base. Hopefully the zoas with cover the base eventually. Though I have heard leathers put off a chemical to keep other corals from growing too closely, so I guess I will just have to see what happens. Maybe place them an inch away.

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