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albert_dao
09-16-2012, 01:18 AM
Okay, since people are already starting up their entries and filling tanks with water, I will too.

Let's start with introductions.

Hi, I'm Albert and I like Nano of all sorts. Here's a few I've done (both past and present):

Dendro Dominated Nano

http://imageshack.us/a/img28/4733/img0528o.jpg


Zoa Dominated Nano

http://imageshack.us/a/img201/7038/12fts.jpg


Lily-themed FW Nano

http://imageshack.us/a/img266/9641/img1247rq.jpg


Nano Display @ Oceanic Corals

http://imageshack.us/a/img26/4406/img17821.jpg


Crypt-dominated 4 gallon

http://imageshack.us/a/img833/5200/img0220ojw.jpg


Same tank rescaped, a few months later

http://imageshack.us/a/img38/6407/img1258pm.jpg


20 gallon Planted w/ Wood Hardscape @ Proline Aquatics

http://imageshack.us/a/img441/1797/img0280bk.jpg


25 gallon cube (Rock Only) @ Oceanic Corals

http://imageshack.us/a/img210/5405/img0764i.jpg


Now for something different.

As you can tell, I change my tanks fairly often - every six months or so. I reuse most of my equipment and rarely upgrade. The way I figure it, if I intend to shut down and start a tank over again with any frequency, increased system sophistication would complicate the habit. And then I'd get lazy because the tank was no longer interesting. And then it would all fall apart. Frown town.

So bearing those criteria in mind, here is my proposal:

1. The tank will be simple beyond reproach. Like, I'm talking glance at the tank once a month simple. None of this "Oh sh-t! I've really been slacking and stuff be dyin!" crap.

2. The livestock will be sustainable without significant effort on my behalf. I did the high maintenance thing (See Dendro tank) and, while rewarding, it did not have a lot of overlap with my idea of personal zen.

3. This nano will not be retreading any ground upon which I have already covered.

4. I will spend exactly NOTHING to get this started aside from whatever I already have lying around. Why? Because I'm cheap and will get bored of most of this within a year anyway. And it also bites into my "oh snap(!!!!), I need booze" funds.

Okay, so now for the actual process. I will be reusing the sloped front 8 gallon that is featured in the first three images. Zoas have been relocated to my frag tank and all the equipment has been cleaned to the point of looking new.

I have the following parts assembled:

Filter - Aquaclear 207i
Flow - Koralia Nano 425
Light - Vertex Illumilux Marino Bianco 300

I’ve opted not to use a skimmer because I always have 50 gallons mixed and water changes take less than 5 minutes.

That's it. I have a heater somewhere but I will not require it to accommodate for livestock I have planned for this set up. Which is a colossal relief since heaters notorious for being garbage.

Alright, now for the reasoning and philosophy behind the design: How do we create a distinctly saltwater tank without it looking like every other nanoreef that’s ever been slapped together as a weekend project? Initially, I dabbled with the idea of doing a temperate system, but eventually ruled against it since issues with heat were inevitable. There was also the legality of collecting local wildlife to top it off. So that went out the window. However, the idea of keeping similar tropical analogues kept tugging at me and I brainstormed for countless hours until it hit me: Tube Anemones on the sand flats!

Let’s review my checklist:

1. Easy – check
2. Sustainable - check
3. Unique – check
4. Free – check

Perfect. Now came the actual planning process. I started by reviewing my inventory of dried reef rock. After playing with it in the tank for nearly an hour, I gave up. There was no configuration I could assemble where it wouldn’t just look like a typical reef tank. And bearing in mind that Cerianthids have no business being in the rockwork, I scrapped the idea of using reef rocks altogether. Back into the boxes they went. Then I tried out some of the river-worn volcanic rock I had from a previous Freshwater install. You can see it here:

http://imageshack.us/a/img802/3180/rocks3.jpg

This stuff is gorgeous. It’s light, colorful, inert and doesn’t look like it has any place on the reef. Faaaaantastic :D

This is what I came up with after a few trials:

http://imageshack.us/a/img824/4296/rocks2.jpg

http://imageshack.us/a/img820/5514/rocks1i.jpg

For the substrate, I figured your basic white aragonite would look a tad peculiar, so I used a volcanic sand collected from the same area is the rocks:

http://imageshack.us/a/img705/6117/substrate.jpg

Placed into the tank, filled with saltwater, I got this:

http://imageshack.us/a/img341/2290/filledwithwater.jpg

I’ve since added 10 drops of Zeobak, 2 mL of Zeostart3, 1mL of household Ammonia, 2mL of Potassium Chloride concentrate and will be monitoring the progress daily.

Quite the morning/afternoon, haha.

Pics of planned livestock with my next update.

Edit: If you guys want me to wait until the end of the month, I can. It usually takes me 24 hours or so to cycle a tank, so yeah :)

Acipenser
09-16-2012, 01:31 AM
Pretty sure that the tank is still supposed to be dry until the 15th of Oct.

albert_dao
09-16-2012, 01:34 AM
Ten minutes and I'll have it drained :)

Edit: Actually, screw it. Just remove me from the contest for judging. I'll just use this as a tank journal, lol.

reefwars
09-16-2012, 01:48 AM
Pretty sure that the tank is still supposed to be dry until the 15th of Oct.


no you must have a dry tank shot by the 15th.

Enigma
09-16-2012, 02:02 AM
Nice, Albert! I can't wait to see how this develops, and how you're going to stock it.

Acipenser
09-16-2012, 03:31 AM
O.k. - I'm wrong not the first time !

Proteus
09-16-2012, 03:37 AM
Sick idea. I'm watchin

albert_dao
09-16-2012, 05:25 AM
First update - Livestock

Here are some pics of the Cerianthids I have been collecting over the past few months:

http://imageshack.us/a/img809/4062/tubeorange.jpg

http://imageshack.us/a/img834/4589/tubepurple.jpg

http://imageshack.us/a/img21/3060/cerianthid01.jpg

http://imageshack.us/a/img696/8682/cerianthid02.jpg

(Thanks to Rick for this last one!!!!)

I also have a pair of club-tipped anemones (Telmatactis americana). I've had these guys for nearly four years now. I'll see if I can fit them into this tank or not. Fingers crossed - they're one of the coolest hitchhikers you'll find anywhere:

http://imageshack.us/a/img442/7837/clubtentacledanemone.jpg

Wheelman76
09-16-2012, 06:46 AM
Cool idea!!

nanoreefnewbie
09-16-2012, 06:57 AM
Very cool ideas ill be checking on this one from time too time for sure keep with the updates this is a cool tank set up

fishoholic
09-16-2012, 05:35 PM
Interesting.....I wonder how the lava rock will work out long term as a biological bacterial filtration over live (reef) rock. It will be cool to see as this tank progresses.

Boxboy
09-16-2012, 10:01 PM
Very nice looking tanks you built there! I will be following your contest build :)
Have fun and best of luck to you :)

Proteus
09-16-2012, 10:33 PM
Interesting.....I wonder how the lava rock will work out long term as a biological bacterial filtration over live (reef) rock. It will be cool to see as this tank progresses.

I wonder the same. The lava rock is porus and most island are volcanic masses

albert_dao
09-16-2012, 10:56 PM
I'm actually not too concerned with the state of the rock since I use porous ceramic media in the filter.

nanoreefnewbie
09-17-2012, 12:41 AM
I think that lava rock will do great...

albert_dao
09-17-2012, 05:48 AM
Whooo! Yesterday, NH4 readings were off the charts (<8 mg/L). Today, they're down in the ~0.5 mg/L range. I'm also getting a cloudy bacterial bloom in the water. I'll wait until the bloom clears then throw in a bunch of micro brittle stars and bristleworms.

For those of you who haven't seen a bacterial bloom, here's what it looks like:

http://imageshack.us/a/img842/4282/bacterialbloom.jpg

This is a good thing during cycling; the bacteria scavenge all of the available nutrients and out-compete any nuisance algaes, so you get to skip the entire three "weeks of ugly tank" phase so common to new set ups.

Just some changes to my original plan:

1. I've also decided that the tank looks a little dim, so I'll add another Illumilux and see how that looks (I have one lying around, just missing the legs).

2. With the increased light, I'll be able to plant a nice little colony of Grube's Gorgonian at little spire of rocks in the center. I was originally going to throw feather dusters there, but the gorgonian is much more forgiving if the tank isn't able to produce enough bacterial and algal fauna.

albert_dao
09-17-2012, 08:58 PM
Tested the water last night and this morning with NH4 readings at zero. Bacterial bloom has largely subsided, so I've gone ahead and added the anemones (which were stinging all of my Zoas in my frag tank).

Clubby Anemone:

http://imageshack.us/a/img198/4900/clubtentacledanemoneint.jpg


Tube Anemones:

http://imageshack.us/a/img818/9330/cerianthid03.jpg


http://imageshack.us/a/img708/3249/cerianthid04.jpg


http://imageshack.us/a/img812/7020/cerianthid05.jpg


Full Tank Shot

http://imageshack.us/a/img42/9770/addedanemones.jpg

Now I just need to wait for them to settle in. Hopefully they'll stay where I put them.

As you can see from picture, I am in sore need of a feature or focal point to draw the eyes. The club tentacled anemone doesn't count since it will, in all likelihood, move under one of the rocks. I'm thinking I'll plant that Gorgonian in the center at the end of this week to address this situation.

Other than that, I've decided that I will use brittle stars instead of Nassarius as a clean up crew for the time being. They won't disrupt the sandbed and allow the anemones to properly settle. I'll take a second look at the snails once the anemones have erected their tubes.

Questions and critiques welcomed!

albert_dao
09-18-2012, 08:33 AM
Here's a quick update of the Club Tipped Anemone:

http://imageshack.us/a/img827/1742/clubtentacledanemone03.jpg

Looks like he's going to holding ground where I put him. His buddy should recover shortly also, I accidentally tore the poor guy's foot when I was prying them off the rocks they were attached to.

fishoholic
09-18-2012, 02:28 PM
Cool that anemone is pretty

riceboy
09-18-2012, 08:59 PM
Here's a quick update of the Club Tipped Anemone:

http://imageshack.us/a/img827/1742/clubtentacledanemone03.jpg

Looks like he's going to holding ground where I put him. His buddy should recover shortly also, I accidentally tore the poor guy's foot when I was prying them off the rocks they were attached to.

this anemone looks awesome i wish i could get hitch hikers like this instead of aiptasia and clove polyps lol

nanoreefnewbie
09-18-2012, 11:16 PM
wow this tank is moving alone nicely

reefwars
09-19-2012, 03:26 AM
a post has been made in all the contest forumns regarding contest rules via the timeline, everyone should read this post as there seems to be some confusion.

albert_dao
09-19-2012, 09:20 PM
Today's update:

Did a test this morning. NH4 was at 0ppm, NO3 was barely detectable and PO4's were barely detectable. Go Zeostart3!

I also moved the Club Tipped Anemones under a rock shelter since they weren't expanding as big as was use to seeing them. That seems to have improved their condition.

Full tank shots (I changed the white balance on my camera while taking pictures of other subjects and forgot to reset it, hence the crazy blueness - sorry about that):

http://imageshack.us/a/img16/3011/fts01.jpg


http://imageshack.us/a/img26/1469/fts02.jpg


http://imageshack.us/a/img840/848/fts04.jpg


Here's a side view where you can see where I put the anemones:

http://imageshack.us/a/img687/3695/fts03.jpg


You may have also noticed that I added another rock to the tank. Staring at the set up for a while, I felt that the balance between negative space, hardscape and animals was off balance. In my initial posts, I was hoping to address this by adding a gorgonian to the center. However, that would not be at least for another month or so and this was something that was irking me NOW.

Later on, I will be going back to my original plan and throwing in a few feather dusters to fill in any "odd" looking gaps. That should get rid of all the odd looking and clearly artificial gaps in the placement of the rocks.

Lastly, I have access to a couple of Mini Carpets. What say all y'all? Should I try them out? Or do you think it would dilute the composition? Right now, I'm leaning towards the latter, but apparently, there are points to be awarded for "diversity", lol.

Thanks for looking!

nanoreefnewbie
09-19-2012, 10:36 PM
Wow that is a quick cycle tank is looking great

albert_dao
09-19-2012, 11:08 PM
Wow that is a quick cycle tank is looking great

Heh, thanks!

Cycling a tank is easy if you skip all of the uncured liverock/refugium BS :)

nanoreefnewbie
09-19-2012, 11:18 PM
Heh, thanks!

Cycling a tank is easy if you skip all of the uncured liverock/refugium BS :)

Yea hey I'm on day 13 cycling and almost done I'm taking the patient route lol...starting too get the ugly brown gunna add clean up crew here next day or two..

albert_dao
09-19-2012, 11:31 PM
Yea hey I'm on day 13 cycling and almost done I'm taking the patient route lol...starting too get the ugly brown gunna add clean up crew here next day or two..

Oh, yah, lol. I hated that. I use to cycle tanks by letting them sit and was subject to "ugly algae tank" syndrome like everyone else. Now I just rely on turbocharged bacteria and ceramic medias to insta-cycle the tank and keep algae from ever gaining a foothold.

The trade off is that I can't used uncured liverock, which I am okay with. I have a pretty good selection of reef rock which I scrub and dry out in between tank switch-ups.

That said, I am really warming up to this "mud flats" look with the river-worn, volcanic substrate and rocks.



**** Livestock addition: I almost forgot to mention this! Last night, I seeded the tank with roughly 20 large bristleworms and 15ish micro brittlestars. I also threw in a cube of chopped mysis to keep everyone happy. I am constantly surprised at how much food a tank with good bacterial ecology can handle. My previous tanks each received a cube of mysis every night with zero climb in nutrients or algae issues. I'd be hard pressed to run a tank using any other method.

nanoreefnewbie
09-19-2012, 11:34 PM
Oh, yah, lol. I hated that. I use to cycle tanks by letting them sit and was subject to "ugly algae tank" syndrome like everyone else. Now I just rely on turbocharged bacteria and ceramic medias to insta-cycle the tank and keep algae from ever gaining a foothold.

The trade off is that I can't used uncured liverock, which I am okay with. I have a pretty good selection of reef rock which I scrub and dry out in between tank switch-ups.

That said, I am really warming up to this "mud flats" look with the river-worn, volcanic substrate and rocks.



**** Livestock addition: I almost forgot to mention this! Last night, I seeded the tank with roughly 20 large bristleworms and 15ish micro brittlestars. I also threw in a cube of chopped mysis to keep everyone happy. I am constantly surprised at how much food a tank with good bacterial ecology can handle. My previous tanks each received a cube of mysis every night with zero climb in nutrients or algae issues. I'd be hard pressed to run a tank using any other method.


I'm reply relying on my clean up crew too take care of the algea with that name proper on time water changes I'll control the algea..almost forgot tonite should be a good night for water change and add my diy skimmer

Boxboy
09-19-2012, 11:38 PM
" Now I just rely on turbocharged bacteria and ceramic medias to insta-cycle the tank and keep algae from ever gaining a foothold.*"

Would really like to learn more about this, care to share?

albert_dao
09-19-2012, 11:42 PM
I'm reply relying on my clean up crew too take care of the algea with that name proper on time water changes I'll control the algea..almost forgot tonite should be a good night for water change and add my diy skimmer

Ahh, I suppose my only argument against relying on a cleanup crew in a smaller tank is that you're not actually addressing the base causes of the problem. In a smaller tank, this can spiral out of control in short order.

It's sort of like coming home to your house, having it look like a dump, then cleaning it sparking clean each and every night. Sure, it gets the job done, but the real issue here is that you have a roommate who is a total slob, lol.

Water changes never a bad thing though :)

nanoreefnewbie
09-19-2012, 11:42 PM
I guess you would really love too know been you have too start all over hey boxboy:biggrin:

albert_dao
09-19-2012, 11:44 PM
" Now I just rely on turbocharged bacteria and ceramic medias to insta-cycle the tank and keep algae from ever gaining a foothold.*"

Would really like to learn more about this, care to share?

Absolutely, first, some science:

Absolutely:

http://www.esajournals.org/doi/abs/10.1890/02-0250?journalCode=ecol

http://jb.asm.org/content/85/6/1413.full.pdf

http://zeovit.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4656

A lot of our modern aquarium techniques are extrapolated from the known studies of microbial metabolisms and how to functionally control their cycles.

Let me know when you've got that reading out of the way and I'll elaborate how it's applicable to our captive systems sans jargon.

Boxboy
09-19-2012, 11:48 PM
http://jb.asm.org/content/85/6/1413.full.pdf dont work, Ive box marked the other for tonight! Ill PM you when done reading :)

Yes I have to start over haha. O well..

albert_dao
09-19-2012, 11:53 PM
http://jb.asm.org/content/85/6/1413.full.pdf dont work, Ive box marked the other for tonight! Ill PM you when done reading :)

Yes I have to start over haha. O well..

Just make sure you have the latest Adobe Acrobat update. That one is SUPER jargony, being a science paper and all, but it's got a lot of good stuffs.

Boxboy
09-19-2012, 11:55 PM
Yup, Andriod phone has PDF :-D

albert_dao
09-19-2012, 11:58 PM
Yup, Andriod phone has PDF :-D

BTW, if you don't mind my asking, in your area of ON, what store(s) are you dealing with?

Boxboy
09-20-2012, 02:13 AM
Thanks fella, I read the two links, pretty intresting and yes lots of jargon lol
Currently I dont deal with local stores, mainly because they dont know what there doing haha.
I simply deal directly with the owners of wholesale and retial compaines. All of wich are not located in my town..

Any more info I can read about this? I already knew that basicly Good Live Rock = Very small if any cycle and great for the long term providing its quality. otherwise do it the hard way.

Im very intrested in mirco level of things in the water. obtaining a sold balance inside our glass reefs.

Thanks

Enigma
09-20-2012, 02:25 AM
Looking wonderful. :)

albert_dao
09-21-2012, 08:48 AM
For today's update -- a video!

https://vimeo.com/49895109

(It's short, but I'll make a longer one once I get my tripod back from my friend)

JDigital
09-30-2012, 05:00 PM
Maybe I missed it, but how big is this tank Albert?

albert_dao
10-01-2012, 10:53 AM
Maybe I missed it, but how big is this tank Albert?

Ah, it's 8 gallons.

I've been slacking on the updates, but only because I left my camera somewhere :(

Will be picking it up tomorrow.

I've made some additions I'm not so sure on. I got impatient waiting for some feather dusters, so I threw in a bunch of green finger leathers. They look out of place. I'll leave them for now because they fill in space, but will remove them as soon as something more appropriate comes up. If anyone sees any sea pens around, LMK!!!!

I've also added a ton of tiny Trochus snails. After adding all of the freshly cut leathers, my tank clouded for a couple days. Afterwards, I started getting a light dusting of algae on the rocks. They cleared it up overnight. I'll probably remove most of them once that quits.

Anyway, text says so little. Pictures tomorrow!

albert_dao
10-04-2012, 09:05 PM
Alright, got my camera back. Here's that much needed update.

First, a shot of the little army of dudes I added to stave off any future algae issues. Seem to be doing their job mightily. I might actually have to pull some of them back into my main system:

http://imageshack.us/a/img22/7443/trochussnails.jpg


Now for the FTS:

http://imageshack.us/a/img248/9399/fts05.jpg


As you can see, I've made some additions:

- Got around to adding the feather dusters. I'm a big fan of the way they look with the Cerianthids.

- There's that green leather I mentioned. I'm still not really feeling it. I'll leave them for another few weeks and see if my opinion changes. This is a case where I think I would have preferred a tan-colored leather over these green ones. If some Pom Pom Xenia presents itself, I'll probably replace them with that.

- Two maxi-Mini Carpets. These are just in here temporarily. I have plans to do some propagation with them, so they'll be moved over to the frag tank as soon as the space presents itself.

- Two Flower Anemones. Ditto on these - temp home until I clear up some space.

That's it for now. Will take some more pictures tomorrow!