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Soljas 5x18x18 mixed reef new photos 22/3/11

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Soljas 5x18x18 mixed reef new photos 22/3/11

Postby solja » Mon 11 Oct, 2010 8:31 pm

Hi guys,

I've been wanting to do a journal for a long time now so here we go...

Firstly I'd like to start by saying this forum has been a wealth of information and help in my endeavors. Everyones been kind considering my somewhat hastily entrance to reef keeping which has now begun to be the learning process it should have been from the beginning.

Intro:
Strike up date: July 2010
Death date: July 2010

Round 2: Strike up date late July 2010

Tank:
5x18x18 built by LFS roughly 320ltrs on stand with diy doors, sides and hood

Equipment:
Haliea 500c Chiller
Bubblemagus NX3.0 skimmer
SenSen 3000lph return pump
3x 3000lph wavemakers (ebay ftw!)
Aqua One 300w Heater

Filtration:
80ltr DIY sump. 4 chambers
1x skimmer
1x refuge with macro and small amount of live rock
1x 9inch deep sand bed 15cm wide
1x return

Lighting:
3x 150w Metal Halide (Shop Fittings) with 20k bulbs
Sump: Energy saver bulb 24w cool white

Substrate:
20kg 2-3mm crushed coral
20+ kg mixed crushed coral and fine Caribbean sea sand
50+ kg live rock

Inhabitants:
Hermit crabs
snails
1x Zebra volutes
1x Red starfish
1x butter bream
2x pistol shrimp
pair of ocellaris clowns
1x BTA
1x Yellow Tang
1x One Spot Foxfacee Rabbit Fish
1x Flame Hawk
1x Hawain Damsel
1x Blue Tang
1x Red Line Cleaner Shrimp
2x Anthias

Corals:
Finger Leather
Toad Stool Leather
Hammer
Torch
Frog Spawn
Catalaphyllia x2
Goniopora
Trachiaphyllia
Fungi
Duncan
Mixed Zoa's
Acro's
Scolly
Blue Disc
Mushrooms

Water and Parameters:
All NSW - one of the plus's of coastal living.
RO water for Top up

Temp: 25-27degrees

Parameters:
Salinity: 1.025
PH: 8.2
Nitrate: 0-5
ammo: 0
Nitrite:0-.25
Phos: 0
calcium: steady around the 420-430
DKH: 9-10


So now some pics. I haven't included pics of the tank in its 1st failed state.

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setting up

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making a mess

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plumbing

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2nd hand for $280

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the tank in it's early stages

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the night light this damn thing lights up the entire lounge room if you have it on at night

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my doors

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my little shrimp that loves to bite and clean me when I'm in the tank we go way back (RIP) became food for the flamehawk

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feather star on the move

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1 of the pistol shrimp hitch hikers

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The tank as it is was around september (click to enlarge wanted to give you the entire pic)


photos as of 10/11/10

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Photos as of 1/12/10

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Hope I haven't missed anything so enjoy....
Last edited by solja on Fri 17 Jun, 2011 8:03 pm, edited 10 times in total.
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Re: 5x18x18 mixed reef

Postby les82 » Sat 16 Oct, 2010 4:08 pm

looking good mate, I try to do at least 20% water changes weekly which is about 130ltrs.
What fish are you planning on stocking?
cheers Les & Kirsty

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Re: 5x18x18 mixed reef

Postby solja » Sat 16 Oct, 2010 5:30 pm

the usual 1's you see around. yellow tang blue tang not planning on too many really. maybe a goby a pair of ocerlaris and a royal dotty back. Going to try buy juveniles for 3 reasons: 1. for the price 2. for the experience of watching the growth 3. for size even though they don't stay that way. then just a random assortment of corals whatever tickles my fancy at the time and will fit the sized tank.
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Re: 5x18x18 mixed reef

Postby solja » Thu 21 Oct, 2010 5:43 pm

Well not much has happened except the inevitable - I've had to change the water. Nitrates* starting becoming very very low such a pale shade of blue on the test and ph started to rise. I've buffered it for now and changing water tonight and tomorrow to correct it all. I've just been short on time but started I've my new job this week on shift work so plenty of time each week now hopefully to do better maintenance.

oh and my doors have warped since I didn't coat them. so first spare day I get I'll be sealing 1 side to try and correct the warp if possible then sealing the other side. Pictures of all will come
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Re: 5x18x18 mixed reef

Postby solja » Sat 23 Oct, 2010 6:13 pm

well bought a Flame Hawk today. Such a cool lil fish! his antics around the tank - just fun to watch. He loves sitting on the wavermakers.... good vibrations I guess. the LFS did try to sell it to me as a rainford goby... but definitely a flame hawk. got a good price at least I thought for $24 :)
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Re: 5x18x18 mixed reef

Postby solja » Wed 10 Nov, 2010 9:40 pm

Well not a lot had been happening and then it all kicked off again so I'll give you all an update.

After 2 weeks of the warped doors being off and under 20kg weight they came back almost 100% straight. So I've oiled them and their back on.

I've started dosing calcium and alk with the 2 part solution using Midgee moisture absorber and Bi carb soda - slowly rasing my low calcium levels seems to be working well for the corals.

i picked up some live rock from les82 which since entering the tank some aptasia has popped up - out with the lemon juice this weekend
quick question on that - using a syringe do you just spray the mouth area or actually inject (puncture) and insert the juice. I maybe have 6-7 that are visable so I want to get it right before it spreads.

I've replaced my Dymax hang on skimmer with a Bubble Magus 3.5. courtesy of Guppys. This was done in getting ready for the sides to go on the stand as the dymax didn't fit under it.

I've also bought all the wood for the 290mm high enclosed hood and hopefully will start the build on the weekend. I've run in to problems trying to find someone to miter the joins, apparently the building supplies where I purchased it can only do straight cuts..... :S

All in all tank looks the goods and some colour is long overdue! A pair of ocelaris will be introduced this weekend - again courtesy of les82 - maybe some corals from him too if I get loose with my hard earned $$

** new pics added to bottom of first post **
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Re: 5x18x18 mixed reef

Postby solja » Sun 14 Nov, 2010 1:04 pm

Ok well I got the wood cut for the tank hood and got the ends mitered and they suggested they could glue and nail it together for me also for no extra than the miters were going to cost. Well they ended up making a box... not a hood then had to re miter and join it. After all that I get it home to find it doesn't fit and I start thinking about why and realize even if they didn't take the few mm off from re mitering it wouldn't have fit.

Because -

I measured my friends 5x18x18 hoods outside measurements, however didn't take into consideration when purchasing my wood (too late now!) that his hood is made from 16mm and mine was 19mm so after everything that's gone wrong it's a complete FAIL and it's basically 19mm total short length and width, only salvation I can see is to dissemble plane 1/2 thickness from each piece. But pretty sure I'm just going to start again and learn from the mistake - now I have scrap for other projects lol...
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Re: 5x18x18 mixed reef

Postby les82 » Mon 15 Nov, 2010 6:39 pm

LOL made plenty of mistakes my self like that. You only learn from them, did you end up contacting Tony yet? He will do a good job for ya
cheers Les & Kirsty

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Re: 5x18x18 mixed reef

Postby solja » Mon 15 Nov, 2010 7:09 pm

sure did he's sorting it out 2moro for me. Going to trim the back up 50mm route each side 40mm long and 5mm deep. It should end up sitting on the tank nicely and be 4mm or so over the water line. We're starting with that then we'll tackle the rest of it lol. I've got the sides on now, at least they went right for me...Left them 19mm short and they are floating sides so I can just remove them with a shove so I can get to my sump easily if I need to. I've looked at ausaquariumcorals and sent an email to find out when and how they freight. I'm thinking a trip might be better though, buying from photos just doesn't sit well with me. Also went and talked to Richard and he's sending me the list of what fish will be available so I can place an order. He already knows no yellow tangs though :(


Tested Alk and calc with the Salifert tests and I'm at dkh 12 and 430cal so was pretty stoked with that. Your occy's are eating well and the mono has seemed to taken to following them everywhere...
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Re: 5x18x18 mixed reef

Postby les82 » Mon 15 Nov, 2010 8:21 pm

good to know they are eating well! Tony's a good bloke, went out of his way helping me with the cabinet so glad to hear he's helping you too. DKH seems a little high but nothing to be too concerned about. How much are you dosing?
cheers Les & Kirsty

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Re: 5x18x18 mixed reef

Postby solja » Mon 15 Nov, 2010 9:57 pm

I haven't gotten a level doseing system yet... It wasn't raising very much so each day I dosed 30mls and checked the following morning. So now it's up at an acceptable level I was going to wait till my water change tomorrow and maybe just do 5-10mls each and check the levels when I get home after work wednesday night. I have a feeling it's a little high because I was using the aquaone testing and an exact level really wasn't easy to gauge. Now with salifert it's possible. What's that little thing you said you could bring around to test phosphates? Is it accurate?
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Re: 5x18x18 mixed reef

Postby les82 » Tue 16 Nov, 2010 8:37 am

yeah hanna checker. way more accurate than any test kit. let me know and I will bring it round for ya.
cheers Les & Kirsty

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Re: 5x18x18 mixed reef

Postby solja » Tue 16 Nov, 2010 9:36 am

well if your not busy and in town some stage today this is my last day off. Would be nice to be sure I've got nothing going on. The macro is actually starting to grow a bit now I think and I'm also growing something else green and leafy down in the fuge. I'm thinking it might be a mangrove but that's just a rough guess... I'm about to drop the hood to Tony other than that I should be around home pretty much all day sitting on my ass.... lol
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Re: 5x18x18 mixed reef *New corals*24/11

Postby solja » Wed 24 Nov, 2010 6:32 pm

bought a pack of mixed zoa's a reasonably sized catalapylia and a gonopora. Also bought a lovely little maxima clam and a BTA for my clowns. I'll take some photos once they have all expanded I'm watching them sloooowwly get bigger they've only been in the tank for 15minutes or so :)
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Re: 5x18x18 mixed reef *New Photos*1/12

Postby solja » Wed 01 Dec, 2010 10:36 am

new photos added since it was early morning when I started taking the photos I haven't added new coral photos they are still waking up it just wouldn't be justice to see them at 30% So they'll be coming shortly.
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Re: 5x18x18 mixed reef *New Photos*1/12

Postby les82 » Mon 10 Jan, 2011 12:38 pm

any updates buddy?
cheers Les & Kirsty

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Re: 5x18x18 mixed reef *New Photos*1/12

Postby solja » Tue 22 Mar, 2011 9:15 pm

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Re: 5x18x18 mixed reef *New Photos*1/12

Postby solja » Tue 22 Mar, 2011 9:26 pm

Finally an update on the journal. 2x blue tangs and a copper banded butterfly have passed away since my last post, the tangs both caught itch the copper band got caught under a rock and I didn't find him in time. I've had issues with aptasia but today I've used some joes juice and hopefully that's going to do some good. I've had the clowns for over 6mths now and also FINALLY today they got into the anemone. Everything has been traveling along pretty well, havent made any changes to my setup or anything like that just standard maintenance and a lot of glass cleaning, water changes and top ups... My plans are to change my lighting soon to 2x 150w halides that I've got just need the time to fix them in place. Love my lil clam but he's soe annoying to try and position in the tank. Each time i've placed him somewhere, even tried securing in place by surrounding by rocks etc he moves into the most unviewable place... he's actually in the back corner of the tank where I usually keep my test kits... lol so you have to move them to see him

Haven't edited any of these photos just put them straight up, so there are some slight lighting issues in some. Couldn't get a photo of my Foxface he was being shy. Some of the photos I've used a macro lens, but I've realized the corals I have aren't the best subjects for this kind of photo, they are rather boring, the most interesting to photo I think is the Leather coral, some hard corals would be cool I think.
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Re: Soljas 5x18x18 mixed reef new photos 22/3/11

Postby solja » Thu 24 Mar, 2011 9:06 am

ok I see the views always going up but why does no one comment? Something I'm missing or doing different to other journals? or everyone just looking at the pics? :P
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Re: Soljas 5x18x18 mixed reef new photos 22/3/11

Postby ronnymac87 » Tue 05 Apr, 2011 3:46 pm

Ive been getting ideas from your TJ recently its especially good to see someone that lives in this area. Your tank is certainly getting there. Mine has been up for about a month now. I like how lil room your skimmer takes up in comparison to mine cos my sump is the same size but dont have much spare room. How efficient are you finding your skimmer? How much did it cost you? Where did you get it from? I thought upgrading the size of my sump was the only answer but didnt want to use all my space in my cabinet, so youve given me some good ideas. Just what to do for a sump in the week it takes to dry the silicone... Which LFS are you using? Ive been going between both in town.
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Re: Soljas 5x18x18 mixed reef new photos 22/3/11

Postby solja » Tue 05 Apr, 2011 5:32 pm

Hey Ronny I like using Pets and Ponds as Richard is a family friend and if I want something particular he will order it, in saying that I still buy at either just depends who has what I want at the time if it's in their tank and I like it... My skimmer came from http://www.guppysaquariumproducts.com.au/ bubble magus NAC3.5 POWERFUL TINY CHEAP ($100) unit. I had the same issue with sump space and this solved it easily, only down side is the smaller collection cup empty it twice a week usually as I don't have it connected to a collection container.

Further into the local stores their, there and then selection is a little lacking, rocky is a good option CQ Marine is good for fish or any of the others up there or Aussie Aquarium Corals in Bundaberg are great if you want to make a day trip or he will post at the start of the week. Anything else I can help ya with let me know or just pm me. Do you want some macro algae, I've got to cut some off as it's growing too quickly - just PM

Finally bit of an update - I'm upgrading my t5 lighting to 2x 150w Metal Halides with 14000k bulbs, these have been sitting around since xmas but I've just been too busy to mount them so after their mounted I'll post some new photos.
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Re: Soljas 5x18x18 mixed reef new photos 22/3/11

Postby les82 » Tue 05 Apr, 2011 7:01 pm

looking good bud. you will have to come out and take some photos for me.
cheers Les & Kirsty

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Re: Soljas 5x18x18 mixed reef new photos 22/3/11

Postby solja » Tue 05 Apr, 2011 7:36 pm

sounds like a plan.
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Re: Soljas 5x18x18 mixed reef new photos 22/3/11

Postby solja » Wed 06 Apr, 2011 6:29 pm

Well i fitted 3x 150w MH lamps last night. The plan was originally to go with 2 but spacing them out I figured I wasn't going to get the complete coverage I was after. Only issue with the late change into using 3 was I only had 2x 14000k bulbs. So 1 used the standard K bulb that it came with, which got turned off as it was too yellow. Thanks to Les82 for lending me a 10k to get through. got to say only a few hours into the day the corals seem to be loving the new lighting - especially the Catalaphyllia and Trachalaphyllia they are much larger than usual. Love the ripple effect and seeing shadows from fish. I'm thinking about going with 20k bulbs just for that extra kick and I'm not running any t5's so the extra actinic cant hurt - but I'll trial the 14k for a week or so to see how they adapt. I'll post some pics soon.
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Re: Soljas 5x18x18 mixed reef new photos 22/3/11

Postby solja » Wed 06 Apr, 2011 7:57 pm

Before with hood off
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the new beasts
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after - running the outer 2 lights only
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Re: Soljas 5x18x18 mixed reef new photos 22/3/11

Postby solja » Wed 06 Apr, 2011 8:28 pm

it's really not that bright i'm not sure what happend to the exposure i'll correct the photo soon
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Re: Soljas 5x18x18 mixed reef new photos 22/3/11

Postby solja » Thu 07 Apr, 2011 9:41 pm

No photos but I've put in place my new RO system. Bought this http://www.guppysaquariumproducts.com.au/reverse-osmosis-and-water-purifiers/3-stage-reverse-osmosis-di/prod_1266.html Much better setup than my last one which had me going outside to the tap with a 5ltr container every time I needed my RO water - not good when you get caught out and have to go outside at all times of night because it's running low. The new system isn't quite an AUTO system but it's on demand which is a leap ahead. I set it up on a board in the laundry (thanks for the tip Les!) so I can easily move it if ever required and put a 6mtr length of tube on the goose neck fitting and left it hanging on the edge of the sink. So when I need a top up I just walk over to the tank with the goose neck and turn it on and off... No mess no fuss! it'll become auto in time I already have the holes in the laundry to run the tubing underneath the house :)
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Re: Soljas 5x18x18 mixed reef new photos 22/3/11

Postby solja » Thu 07 Apr, 2011 9:43 pm

Well getting rid of a bit of equipment that I don't need anymore taking up space so go check out a few of my items that are up for grabs http://www.masa.asn.au/phpBB3/buysell/single_ad.php?ad_id=8734
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Re: Soljas 5x18x18 mixed reef new photos 22/3/11

Postby rnscross » Sun 17 Apr, 2011 5:54 pm

thought id post here instead of the other thread, with the acro id try to get some frags off a colony thats been in captivity for a while makes it alot easier.
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Re: Soljas 5x18x18 mixed reef new photos 22/3/11

Postby solja » Sun 17 Apr, 2011 7:16 pm

thanks for the tip :)
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