Fishfoo's 40g Rimless

Discussion in 'Tank Builds' started by Fishfoo, Dec 12, 2016.

  1. Fishfoo

    Fishfoo Junior Member
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    About 10 months late, but thought I'd finally take the time to start this up.

    This is not my first ever reef tank, but definitely my first serious go at it. The first reef tank I had sophomore year of college taught me some great lessons. The most important being: Do your research!!!!!

    I went with the JBJ 24 gallon All in One because I knew I'd be moving around for the next couple of years and didn't want to deal with multiple large tank moves. So far I've loved the tank itself, and the stand it came with does the job but isn't as sturdy as I'd prefer.

    Equipment (Current)
    JBJ 24gal AIO with stand
    Mp10 Powerhead
    AI Prime light
    Smart ATO micro
    Fluval M100 heater
    1st chamber: filter floss, sponge, Matrix biofiltration
    2nd chamber: Purigen, chemipure elite, matrix bifiltration, Rio pump for media reactor when needed (carbon/gfo)
    3rd chamber: Heater, stock return pump
    Live Rock: Walt Smith's Reef Rock 2.1 Nano Rock
    Live Sand: CaribSea (currently in process of removing so that I can try a different kind)

    Current Livestock
    Onyx Percula Clown
    Red Lined Wrasse
    Yellow tail blue Damsel (gf won't let me take it out and now it's kinda grown on me)
    Tiger Conch
    8 or so Trochus snails

    I didn't plan on doing a build thread at the start so I did the best with the pictures I had.


    January 2016 - Fresh start
    [​IMG]

    February 2016 - Cycle Begins
    [​IMG]

    April 2016 - First fish
    [​IMG]

    One of my favorites
    [​IMG]

    June - Added the Prime
    [​IMG]


    July - Starting to add more corals
    [​IMG]

    Sweeper Action with DFS Brain
    [​IMG]

    August - Before the move
    [​IMG]


    November 2016
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    December - Removing sand before the next move
    [​IMG]

    Red-Lined Wrasse
    [​IMG]

    New Tyree Bubblegum Monster under actinic
    [​IMG]

    Issues at this time

    - Can't seem to keep sps for the life of me
    - The original frag of my sunset monti never has PE but all of its new growth constantly has extended polyps
    - My Alk has been staying the same without additives. Only thing that tests low/require additives is calcium
     
    #1 Fishfoo, Dec 12, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017
  2. jlanger

    jlanger "The North Remembers"
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    Great start!
    AIO tanks do make it easy for those that need to move periodically.

    Your issues with SPS may just have to do with time. Even though I've never had troubles with keeping montipora corals, I had a terrible time trying to keep other SPS corals alive for a few years. Once I was able to keep water parameters stable and provided plenty of light and flow, my success rate started to improve. I'm still no expert and my experiences with acropora corals still have hiccups.

    What salt mix are you using?

    Have you tested your magnesium levels?
    Magnesium plays a key role with how corals uptake calcium and bicarbonates. I have always wondered why it's always referred to as a "2-part" dosing regimen when the third part is just as important; probably due to the fact it is more stable than the other two, but still.

    Also check your nutrient levels; nitrates and phosphates.
    I know that some of my montiopora corals do not have much polyp extension when the nitrates reach higher numbers; ~32ppm.

    Thanks for starting a build thread!
    It's a great way to document your tank's progression and it helps to get answers/feedback from other members.
     
  3. OP
    Fishfoo

    Fishfoo Junior Member
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    For salt I'm using the Normal Tropic Marin and have been for about 3 months now. Before I was using IO Reef Crystals and wasn't seeing any calcium or other consumption (could also have been because the tank was even newer then but livestock hasn't really changed since). Overall I've really liked Tropic Marin.

    I have not checked magnesium but realize I need to get a test kit for it asap (any suggestions on which?). Nitrates are around 2ppm phosphates .06 everything else 0.

    Alkalinity used to be at 9ish while using IO but since switching to Tropic Marin it has slowly ramped up to 11 and has stayed there for a little while. Do you think the reason for the calcium dropping but alk remaining the same could be from water changes alone keeping alk up? Idk first things first I gotta get the mag test kit that should help to figure it out.

    Thanks for the input and I'm glad I finally took the time to make one!
     
  4. David Grigor

    David Grigor TCMAS Old Timer
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    You comment on CA but not alk seems odd. Are you seeing calcium carbonate buildup on heaters, return pumps and/or powerheads ? If its not becuase of precipitation, you would expect to see alk to drop 1dkh for every 7ppm of CA. Most test kits are at best 20ppm resolution for CA so you should see your alk have dropped nearly 3dkh before you see the needle move on your ca test kit. So somethings up either your alk test isn't working right or abnormal amount of precip. So for sure get a second opinion on your CA and alk levels.
     
  5. OP
    Fishfoo

    Fishfoo Junior Member
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    No calcium carbonate buildup. Yeah that's what I was thinking because I don't believe water changes would. Be keeping the alk up would it? Appreciate the input David
     
  6. David Grigor

    David Grigor TCMAS Old Timer
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    With frequent enough water changes you could keep alk at acceptable levels but you would expect to see the ratio of 1dkh of alk and 7ppm of CA for calcification. If your not seeing alk drop then you for sure wouldn't be seeing CA drop becuase 20ppm resolution at best with most test kits it would take up to 3dkh drop before you would see 20ppm on your CA test kit.

    It could be the upper center is just too much of a hot spot with your led and may take some acclimation to keep stuff from bleaching out. If you haven't done so already when you get new sps pieces start them out on the outer edges and work your way to the center over a good 2-3 month period.
     
    #6 David Grigor, Dec 13, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2016
  7. OP
    Fishfoo

    Fishfoo Junior Member
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    Makes sense. I'll start testing every water change before and after for the next few changes and see what the results are. And I've always kept new frags at the bottom but will make sure they're off to the sides as well
     
    #7 Fishfoo, Dec 14, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2016
  8. David Grigor

    David Grigor TCMAS Old Timer
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    Is the teal acro just in the Dec picture just bleached out or is it gone ? If so remind me the next meeting you can attend and I'll give a replacment piece. Won't be as big you got before.
     
  9. OP
    Fishfoo

    Fishfoo Junior Member
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    If it isn't completely gone it's close. Appreciate that and will do, David. I will say, the Hydnophora I got from you has been doing great and is one of my favorites. Such an intense green.
     
  10. OP
    Fishfoo

    Fishfoo Junior Member
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    Update time:

    First, I've started logging my weekly water changes to see if there are any trends and to have it incase I need to look back at something. Everything has looked alright so far. I also bought an Apex Classic that I installed a couple days ago and found out that my pH was lower than I thought. It was getting as low as 7.60 at night and topped at 7.75 during the day... I decided to buy a BRS dosing pump and some kalkwasser to replicate what briguy350 does with his nano, considering our tank sizes are nearly identical. I realize that along with pH it also raises Calcium and Alk. But I was wondering how fast/slow I should go to raise the pH to 8 (ideally I would like to be at 8.2)?
    [​IMG]

    I also added a new fish to the tank today (This was ordered before I knew about my pH problem..)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    It's been over 4 months since I've added any new fish, and so after looking around I found a great deal on a female rhomboid that I couldn't pass up. She arrived today and was drip acclimated for a long time due to the very long flight and cold weather. She's now in an acclimation box and has been very active. She even comes up to the front of the box anytime I check on her which is great to see. I fed all of them a little bit and she ate without a problem so my hopes are high with this one. I'll probably keep her in the acclimation box for a couple of days so that the others get used to their new tank mate.

    So some pretty big additions, both on the equipment and livestock. One thing I'm very excited about is to learn a bit more about the apex and what it can do. Any suggestions are appreciated!
     
  11. jlanger

    jlanger "The North Remembers"
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    Nice looking wrasse!
     
  12. OP
    Fishfoo

    Fishfoo Junior Member
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    Happy to report that the Rhomboid is still doing great and couldn't be happier with him/her. She had a couple nips out of her tail from the Red Lined wrasse in the beginning, but now they get along perfectly. For anyone wondering, I received the rhomboid from ZoaCollector who is based out of Hawaii and highly recommend him.

    Parameter wise: I started dosing kalk with the intentions of boosting my pH, which I know is not it's main purpose but thought the added alk/calcium additive could only help as a bonus. After about three weeks of use, I was finally getting a pH around 8.1 (which is awesome compared to the 7.6-7.7 it was at), but found that in those three weeks my alk had risen from 10.0 to 12.8... Luckily everything still seemed fine, but obviously changes needed to be made. Now, I thought I had done adequate research regarding kalk, but after doing some more research and talking to David Grigor, I quickly found out I didn't fully understand it all.

    The main thing I found was that even with a half saturated mix per gallon (1 tsp) of Calcium Hydroxide, it will still yield the same high pH of ~12. So instead of using the fully saturated mix, I switched to a ~half saturated one. I am also only dosing kalk during the night now, instead of 24/7 (had different dosing intervals for night and day programmed via virtual outlets, so it wasn't the same amount 24/7, fwiw). Lastly, I am going to start being more careful when feeding my fish, so that I can spread out water changes, and thus lower the alk back to around 9-10. Then, after my Tropic Marin classic salt is gone (dkh 9-10), I think I'm going to switch to the Tropic Marin Pro Reef salt (dkh ~7). Still not sure though.

    Equipment wise: Picked up a Radion xr15pro Gen3 and Ecotech Battery backup from a local member, which I've been wanting for quite some time now.

    Coral wise: Ordered some pieces during one of AquaSD's sales on R2R that just came in today. Really happy with the order but made me realize that I may need to start selling some corals to make room for the new arrivals.

    Moving next weekend so I'll try to get an update after that and document how it went. I'm sure there's bound to be a few hiccups.
     
    #12 Fishfoo, Jan 20, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2017
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  13. OP
    Fishfoo

    Fishfoo Junior Member
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    Now that I'm fairly settled in and the tank is set up, I figured I'd post an update.

    A couple months prior to the move, I started siphoning out portions of my sand bed. I did this mainly because I didn't like the sand I originally put in there, but also because moving a tank with the existing sand bed could potentially pose many problems I didn't care to deal with. So after choosing the new tank location, I dumped the special grade live sand right in. Then came the water and aquascape.

    For the aquascape, I wanted to go for less rock/more open space. I planned ahead for this, from a biological filtration standpoint, by adding another bag of Seachem Matrix to the back chamber a couple months before the move. Once I got to the new place, I started chiseling and glueing pieces together to form the now left island of the tank. The right island I left untouched besides replacing the old top rock with a new, less bulky one. I'd say this is the most pleased I've been with my aquascape since starting this tank.

    [​IMG]

    It's been about 4 days since the move and so far so good from a fish/coral standpoint. The male rhomboid is still doing well and isn't one bit camera shy, which is great to see.

    [​IMG]

    I've been feeding them Rod's Food (mixed with reef caviar just to get rid of it)and am very happy with it. It's a bit messy, so I stopped feeding reef chili completely and think it all evens out. I also purchased Brian's January frag pack and added a pink lemonade as well. So far all are doing well with good polyp extension. Still trying to dial in my alk's consistency, but I'm getting closer. Have a couple more things coming Friday that I may post.


    I really need to invest in a camera soon!
     
    #13 Fishfoo, Feb 1, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017
  14. eschulist

    eschulist That Office Nano Guy
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    Aquascape is really cool. I like the two island / trench look.

    It'll be awesome once all those sps coral start branching out at the top and the lower lps corals encrust and fill out the bottom!
     
  15. OP
    Fishfoo

    Fishfoo Junior Member
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    Thanks! Yeah that's the plan but for now I'm just playing the waiting game. Was going to buy a couple smaller colonies but thought that wouldn't be too smart for such a small tank. Better to just let some frags fill out the space as they see fit
     
  16. OP
    Fishfoo

    Fishfoo Junior Member
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    Biweekly or so update:

    Diatom bloom is gone from the new sand now, which is great news as it’s never fun to look at a brown sand bed. SPS from Brian are still going strong and are starting to encrust. Fish all seem happy and healthy. The rhomboid still shows nips on her caudal fin here and there, but doesn’t ever seem shy/scared when I’m around the tank. New Radion is now at 35% in acclimation period that will stop around 40%. No bleaching or negative signs from any of the coral.

    Since the move, I’ve had problems with stabilizing my alkalinity. It seemed that no matter how much kalk I was dosing, I just couldn’t keep up with consumption (Almost 3dkh a day). It got to the point where I ordered Soda Ash to start dosing the tank with. Since then, the alkalinity consumption seems to have become more normal (around 1dkh a day). I have no clue what caused it but I even ordered a hanna standard to make sure my tester wasn’t going crazy. Currently I am running half-concentrated kalk in my ATO, mainly for pH, and then Soda Ash through a 1.1ml BRS doser to keep alk levels stable. Big thanks to David Grigor for his patience and advice to help me get through this as well as I did.

    Lastly, I picked up a Canon 70D a couple weeks ago and have been trying my best to take some decent pics. This is my first DSLR, and I’m learning that it’s not nearly as easy to pick up as I thought it would be. Still very fun however. Now just waiting patiently on a porthole viewer from Jason!

    Rhomboid
    [​IMG]

    Red Lined Wrasse
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    ASD Rainbow Phoenix Monti
    [​IMG]


    Will try to take some better ones for the next update
     
    #16 Fishfoo, Feb 21, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017
  17. Leicester56

    Leicester56 I contributed!
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    Nice tank! I think you made some great fish stocking choices! In particular, the red lined wrasse is a gorgeous fish that is seldom talked about and often overlooked.

    Also, keep us updated on the Phoenix monti. Can't wait to see what it looks like in your tank once it gets bigger.
     
  18. jlanger

    jlanger "The North Remembers"
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    Very nice pics!

    (Porthole update: I picked up the supplies and machined the lenses this morning, so I'll have it ready for this weekend.)
     
  19. OP
    Fishfoo

    Fishfoo Junior Member
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    Couldn't agree more! The red it brings to the tank along with its personality make it my favorite overall (if I had to choose). And overall I'm very happy with the stock list I've chosen so far, but feel it's at or near max capacity... Maybe one more wouldn't hurt :)

    Also, if it were up to me the yellow tail blue damsel would be gone. But the gf likes it too much and it surprisingly minds it's own business, so I'm fine with it for now.

    Awesome! Just let me know when and where and I'll be there
     
  20. mnfishkeeper

    mnfishkeeper Junior Member
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