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Broken Crown Reef

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Broken Crown Reef

Postby brainplug » Mon 29 Feb, 2016 7:32 am

Introduction:

Hi there,

After doing extensive experimentation (and continuing to do so) with tropical freshwater setups, I have decided to take the plunge into marine. This will be the charting of my progress.

System Objectives:

Hopefully I'll end up with a beautiful little utopia for the selected fish and corals that I plan to keep. Seeing this is my first time keeping a marine tank, I'm not opposed to any advice that any more seasoned reefers may offer me as I go along.

System Type: Mixed Reef

Display System:

Strike up Date: 28/02/2016

Display Tank: Reefer 170 (130l)

Display Lighting: Ecotech Radion xr30w Pro with RMS tank mount (controlled via ReefLink)

Stand: Red Seas Reefer 170 in black (with all the salty marks building up already, I'm starting to understand why people go white!)

Hood: Rimless!

Sump: Reefer 170 Sump (35litres)

Refugium: Currently no plans

Refugium Lighting: As above


Support systems:

System Water: Artificial Salt Water (Red Sea Coral Pro)

Display Water circulation: 2 x Ecotech Vortech MP10wQD - Controlled via ReefLink

Return Pump: Nyos Viper 3.0

Skimmer: Nyos Quantum 120

Evaporation Top Up: Reefer 170 (Built in Auto Top Up)


Chemical Support:

Calcium Addition: Randy's Recipe #2 - Controlled via Kamoer AutoDoser

Alkilinity Addition: Randy's Recipe #2 - Controlled via Kamoer AutoDoser

Other Chemical Maintenance: Randy's Recipe #2 (Mg) - Controlled via Kamoer AutoDoser

Current Water Chemistry: As of 24/04/2016
pH: 8.4 pH
Ammonia: 0 ppm
Nitrites: 0 ppm
Nitrates: 5 ppm
Phosphates: 0.025 ppm
Alkalinity: 8.4 dKH
Calcium: 400 ppm
Salinity / Specific Gravity: Currently 1.025 SG
Magnesuim: 1320 ppm


Images:

Apologies for the image heavy presentation (and the crappy iPhone Photos) but I want to be fairly detailed in my journal. When I was researching for this tank I found myself wanting more and more photos of the different elements so hopefully someone else may find this helpful. The tank is currently wet and cycling but I will have to drain it when the light unit arrives so I can pull it away from the wall and install the mount.

Live Rock added and scaped - 04/03/2016

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Tank as of: 19/06/2016

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I have to say, so far I'm very impressed with the build quality of the Reefer 170. It was very easy to put together (stand included) and all the silicon work, plumbing and fittings quality is excellent. It's is too soon for me to review any of the other products yet. The skimmer is still bedding in and there is nothing really for it to skim. Everything else so far seems to be of high quality so time will tell on those elements. I'll be picking up some live rock this weekend to accelerate the cycling process and create my scape.
Last edited by brainplug on Mon 27 Jun, 2016 9:04 am, edited 18 times in total.
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Re: Brainplug's Reefer 170

Postby Sailfin » Tue 01 Mar, 2016 3:24 pm

Good Luck Mate :thumbsup:

Don't rush stocking after adding the rock and don't impulse buy :nod:

P.S Welcome to MASS as well as RTAW :clap:
Smile & have a Nice Day
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Re: Brainplug's Reefer 170

Postby brainplug » Tue 01 Mar, 2016 3:52 pm

Thanks Sailfin :thumbsup:

I definitely won't rush on the stocking. I've made my mistakes and learned my lessons with freshwater. I have pretty much already planned the stocking for the tank, so I can't see myself snapping and buying a lionfish :)

I am still tossing up whether to attempt keeping an anemone or not as I'm concerned it'll take over the tank and sting my other corals. But I would really like to get my planned pair of Clownfish to host in one. Maybe I can fool them into hosting a Torch Coral...

Anyway, very excited about the possibilities of marine. Totally different ballgame than freshwater!
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Re: Brainplug's Reefer 170

Postby brainplug » Wed 02 Mar, 2016 8:06 am

So I'm researching what creatures to have as part of my cleanup crew for the tank and thought perhaps anyone with experience might chime in on the number they would recommend for a tank this size. Bearing in mind I'm planning on keeping a range of corals (LPS,SPS etc)

So far I'm thinking:

- Cerith Snails
- Astrea Snails
- Nassarius Snail
- Red-Legged or Electric Blue Hermit Crabs (Might nip at corals I know and I'll need to leave empty shells in the tank for them to move into)
- A Redline Cleaner Shrimp

Any suggestions for numbers or anything I may have missed?

Cheers!
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Re: Broken Crown Reef

Postby brainplug » Sun 06 Mar, 2016 5:36 pm

Yesterday I went out and bought a Hailea Chiller HC150A. I had only just added a thermometer to the tank and when I did I realised that it was 29.5 degrees. Better to realise now than when I add corals and fish I guess!

I also added a little more live rock but I will be removing some when my light finally arrives (probably at the end of the minimum cycle). When that happens I have to remove all the water and rock from the tank so I can move it out from the wall to attach the tank mount. I can't for the life of me see why Aqua Illumination don't make a tank mount like the Ecotech Radion one, especially considering they are basically the same company! Annoying not to be able to turn the light sideways as well. I looked into custom mounts but they are only available in the UK and US and shipping is a bit prohibitively expensive to get them here.

Anyway, I've put a cheap little Freshwater light on the tank for now, purely for viewing purposes, so I can enjoy all the little critters that came along with my live rock. I was happy to see a little brittle star. I've also seen a crab (which I'm not sure I want in there), an amphipod, and a Predatory Whelk (which I'll try and remove when I see it next) and what i think is a tiny feather star and a couple of plain looking Zoanthids. Also have this tiny little sponge that is making me happy to watch filter feeding.

Image

Cycle hasn't really kicked in yet but I expect an ammonia build up this week.
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Re: Broken Crown Reef

Postby brainplug » Sun 06 Mar, 2016 10:45 pm

Just wanted to add a few more photos as I was playing with the DSLR today.
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Re: Broken Crown Reef

Postby Sailfin » Mon 07 Mar, 2016 10:16 am

As for clean up what you have on the list is ok but with a sand bottom you could go with these to complement doing it naturally

stromb snail and a sand sifting starfish

carpet blennie for algae

a few chromis are good for finding / eating leftover food



hope this helps
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Re: Broken Crown Reef

Postby brainplug » Mon 07 Mar, 2016 4:31 pm

Great, thanks for the suggestions Sailfin :)
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Re: Broken Crown Reef

Postby brainplug » Thu 10 Mar, 2016 7:29 am

After a bit of deliberation I decided to change my order of the AI Hyrda 26HD to the Ecotech Radion XR30w Pro for a number of reasons. I already had the ReefLink and I like the tank mount option better (rotatable and don't have to drill into the cabinet). I was also looking at waiting a few weeks until I could get stock of the AI so Radion it is!

I almost blinded myself when it came on, I wasn't quite prepared for how bright it was going to be. I'll have to make sure I don't blind my fish and burn my corals as well :nono:

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All in all pretty happy with it so far :thumbsup:
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Re: Broken Crown Reef

Postby brainplug » Sun 13 Mar, 2016 11:24 am

I added the cleanup crew yesterday consisting of:

2 Turbo Snails
2 Nassarius Snails
1 Strombus Snail
1 Red Indian Starfish

I'm still not sure about adding a hermit crab or two yet, I find them fascinating but I don't want them to evict my snails (even if I do add empty shells to the tank)

All parameters holding steady. I don't think I'll be seeing an ammonia or nitrite spike as I added live rock day one and they are both yet to register on the test kit (Red Sea, not API :wink:). Nitrates are currently fluctuating between 8-20 ppm so hopefully they'll continue to drop as the tank matures.

I also did a rescape to make room for corals. The older design was a bit cramped with Live Rock so wouldn't have allowed much room for coral growth.

Cheers!

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Re: Broken Crown Reef

Postby brainplug » Sun 27 Mar, 2016 1:51 pm

Everything is progressing well. GHA/RHA is hanging around but the Turbos are doing their darndest to control it. I'll be getting a reactor sometime in the future to further lower nitrates and phosphates which should help I think. I've added some corals and fish.

Clownfish and Zoa Colony

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Zombie Whelk and Long Tentacle Fungia

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Sunny Delight Zoa

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Green and Purple Zoas

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Acid Green Favia Sp.

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Toxic Green Favia Sp.

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Bangai Cardinal and Micromusso

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Multi-Coloured Lobophyllia and Bi-Colour Blenny

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Re: Broken Crown Reef

Postby Roy » Mon 28 Mar, 2016 4:14 pm

Looks nice.
Is that a 2ft CADE shallow series in the backgrounds?
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Re: Broken Crown Reef

Postby brainplug » Mon 28 Mar, 2016 6:15 pm

Thanks Roy. Long way to go but I'm hoping it has potential.

The tank in the background is a 3ft CADE (Freshwater)
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Re: Broken Crown Reef

Postby brainplug » Mon 11 Apr, 2016 7:56 am

Since the last update I was struggling with some green hair algae so I decided to take the rocks out and give them a good scrub. This resulted in another rescape... Seems to have taken care of it for the most part, there is a little still growing but my constantly munching Turbos and Strombus seem too be keeping it at bay. I'm also having the inevitable minor diatom outbreak as is customary with a young tank but I seem to be through the worst of it. I'll post more photos when its a bit clearer. I recently gave up on using the Hydor in sump heater I was using and swapped it out for a Hydor inline one. More room in the sump and the temperature is a little more stable. For some reason the Hydor Theo glass heater would keep heating the water beyond 26 degrees meaning the chiller was always on.

Another little photo update:

FTS

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Ricordea

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Bangai, Red Sponge, Blastomussa, Indian Red Starfish and a baby green-speckled BTA

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Green Goniopora

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Sixline Wrasse, Baby BTA, Red Sponge, Indian Red Starfish, Blastomussa

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Re: Broken Crown Reef

Postby bimborocks » Mon 11 Apr, 2016 8:21 am

Tank is coming along well :thumbsup: Great photos too :-x
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Re: Broken Crown Reef

Postby NewyReefer » Mon 11 Apr, 2016 10:03 am

How is that Nyos skimmer going? Interested to see what their performance is like.

Also super nice planted tank you have/had.
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Re: Broken Crown Reef

Postby brainplug » Mon 11 Apr, 2016 10:14 am

Tank is coming along well :thumbsup: Great photos too :-x


Thanks bimborocks. I'm really enjoying the process. Still figuring out the best lighting/settings to take photos with.

How is that Nyos skimmer going? Interested to see what their performance is like.

Also super nice planted tank you have/had.


Hey NewyReefer. I'm very happy with the skimmer. I haven't had a single problem and its very quiet. I would have liked the 120 to have an overflow like the 160 has but maybe I can mod that in myself if I'm brave enough to drill into the cup :-D

Oh and I still have the freshwater, thanks for the compliment :thumbsup:
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Re: Broken Crown Reef

Postby NewyReefer » Mon 11 Apr, 2016 10:19 am

Good to hear its quiet. Any chance of a pic of what its producing?

I nearly got one but ended up going with a BK160 instead.
Looks like its got some nice foam.
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Re: Broken Crown Reef

Postby brainplug » Mon 11 Apr, 2016 10:22 am

Sure I'll take a pic later in the week, I only just cleaned it out yesterday (I run it pretty dry too) ;)
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Re: Broken Crown Reef

Postby brainplug » Mon 11 Apr, 2016 8:06 pm

Heya NewyReefer,

As requested I figured the skimmer had enough lovely skimmate build up to show you. Couple of days in there.

Image
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Re: Broken Crown Reef

Postby NewyReefer » Tue 12 Apr, 2016 7:48 am

Yep nice thanks mate , Looks like its getting some nice skimmate!
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Re: Broken Crown Reef

Postby Polyps » Tue 12 Apr, 2016 10:46 am

I actually really like your scape, great work and can't wait to see it covered in corals :thumbsup:
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Re: Broken Crown Reef

Postby Abarnes » Tue 12 Apr, 2016 2:06 pm

Looking really good! how is the NYOS skimmer travelling?
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Re: Broken Crown Reef

Postby brainplug » Wed 13 Apr, 2016 8:13 am

Yep nice thanks mate , Looks like its getting some nice skimmate!


No worries, it certainly does! I know the skimmate smells pretty bad but I have a similar reaction to the smell of it that I expect an avid gardener has to the smell of compost. It strangely makes me happy. I figure all that grossness in the cup means its not in the tank ;)

I actually really like your scape, great work and can't wait to see it covered in corals :thumbsup:


Thanks for the kind words Polyps. I'm pretty fussy with scaping and not sure if I like it yet but I've tried to design it with SPS growth in mind. I also can't wait to see it covered!

Looking really good! how is the NYOS skimmer travelling?


Thanks Abarnes, your MiniReef 120 is looking great too. The Nyos is great, I'd recommend them to anyone with one caveat that I mentioned above. I wish the 120 model had the overflow like the 160 and 220 have. The way its designed doesn't make any sense for it to not have it. I imagine if they were smart about it, Nyos could just release a new cup for people to upgrade to so they don't have to buy a whole new skimmer.
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Re: Broken Crown Reef

Postby brainplug » Sat 23 Apr, 2016 3:03 pm

Another photo update:

I've finally settled on a scape and started adding SPS (Thanks Edi!) I've also added an extra MP10 wavemaker, so I definitely don't have any flow dead-zones now ;)

FTS - Front

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FTS - Right Side

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FTS - Three Quarter

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Purple Bonsai

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Green Acropora

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Purple and Green Acropora

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Pink Pocillopora

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Teal Pocillopora

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Pink and Green Seriatopora

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Pink Seriatopora - This one unfortunately fell into my Hammer before I glued it down, hence the missing polyps

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Pink Seriatopora

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Toxic Green Acropora

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Blue Acropora

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Multi-Coloured Acropora

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Strawberry Shortcake Acropora

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"Goni Island"

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I'm also wondering if anyone can identify these little,reddish-brown, fluffy things on my Zoa garden. They seem to respond to stimuli and are growing quite rapidly but I can't find any mention of them on google.

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Re: Broken Crown Reef

Postby brainplug » Fri 06 May, 2016 8:36 am

Update time:

Unfortunately, I've had my first loss. My little Ricordea shriveled up and disintegrated and I have a feeling its because he ate a bit of fish food that has garlic in it. It was kind of vomiting up the digested pellet for a few days before it died so I can't think of anything else that it would be. I also tried moving it to a shadier spot but that didn't help. Lesson learned, don't let your Ricordea eat fish pellets, no matter how much they want to!

Apart from that everyone else is very healthy and showing growth across the board (based on my own photo comparisons). I've procured a bunch more beautiful SPS and done a lot of glueing down to try and top the turbos from knocking them over (also because I finally settled on a "forever spot" for them :nod: )

More recently I've been following the terrible situation in the Barrier Reef and I've been wondering if I can help to make this hobby more sustainable. To that end I decided to set up my little AquaOne Nano 40 tank as a frag tank. Nothing fancy, but I did get myself an AI Prime for it and a little AquaOne MiniSkim 80. It's been cycling for about 6 weeks now and is ready for LPS and softies but it'll take a while longer before I feel comfortable about putting SPS in it. I have to wait for mine to grow first anyway, so it will mainly be used for Zoa frags for a while.

Without further ado, the photos:

FTS

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Yellow Millepora - I love this one, the photo doesn't do it justice!

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Green Montipora - I got this tiny little frag from RedlineR, thanks again Edi!

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Blue Staghorn Acropora

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Peach Millepora - I think this is a Millepora, correct me if I'm wrong

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White, Acid Green-Tipped Acropora- This one came with a couple of fan worms :)

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Bi-Colour Staghorn

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A hitchhiker SPS of some sort

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Eagle Eye Zoas

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God of War Zoas

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Red-Rim Zoas

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Maroon-Blue Galaxy Zoas

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Orange-Red Rimmed Zoas

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Blastomussa

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"Audrey" the Green BubbleTip Anemone

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A hitchhiker baby Fungia

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Toxic Green Favia

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My Storage/Dosing Setup and Chiller

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FTS - Side on

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That's it for now.

Cheers All!

- Ben
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Re: Broken Crown Reef

Postby NewyReefer » Fri 06 May, 2016 10:12 am

Nice update mate its looking the goods!

I like that you have setup the frag tank, i really wish this hobby was more self sustainable but if everyone just did a little bit it would surely help.
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Re: Broken Crown Reef

Postby brainplug » Fri 06 May, 2016 11:55 am

Thanks NewyReefer. I was looking through your tank journals and was wondering whether you might start another tank up again?
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Re: Broken Crown Reef

Postby Deaux » Fri 06 May, 2016 10:44 pm

Tank is looking great mate. Love that you're taking sustainability seriously - if only everyone out there knew how much effort goes into recreating this ecosystem they might have a greater appreciation for its fragility.
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Re: Broken Crown Reef

Postby NewyReefer » Sat 07 May, 2016 8:03 am

Yes i most definitely will, i got out of the hobby to buy a house now we have, 6 weeks ago we purchased our first brand new home :clap: so planning stages of a 4x3 at the moment cant wait to get back into it!
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