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55g SW Journal (sequel to the 10g nano diary)
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harlock
Exemplars


Joined: 28 Dec 2004
Location: NC

PostPosted: 2005.12.16(Fri)13:55    Post subject: 55g SW Journal (sequel to the 10g nano diary) Reply with quote

MOVING ON:

As you may or may not have read in my last 10g nano diary entry, the nano has been taken down. The corals have been donated to a friend's reef aquarium, along with some of the inhabitants, and the majority of the LR was transferred to my 55g FOWLR system. For more info on the whys/whens/and hows, check out my last 10g nano diary entry.

The 55g has been setup since mid-august of 2005 (running successfully now for 4 months). I set this system up because I wanted to be able to house more of a variety of SW fish and corals that the 10g nano was not capable of.

THE 55g SETUP:

The tank, stand, and light, along with a variety of other aquarium equipment were purchased from a local 'for sale' paper we have here in Asheville, NC for a grand total of $80.00 A 20g long was also included, but is not yet in use with the 55g setup. Eventually it will become a refugium or sump.

I am doing a few things differently with this SW than I did with the 10g nanoreef ---

Substrate:

40 lbs of sand
15 lbs of crushed shells

In total, there is a good 2.5 - 3 inches of the sand/shell mixture. My hopes are that this substrate setup, along with a few new know-hows, will last 2-4 years until needing a change. From what I've read and heard, deep sand beds work well, and last longer, in larger tanks. We'll see.

Filtration:

This setup has been using a combination of mechanical and biological filtration. It is using a Whipser Dual Media filter (standard large cartridges, although the tank came with a used Whisper Dual Media XL cartridge filter). Biologically, there is 40-50 pounds of LR (mostly figi). I've placed dead rock in the tank as well, as the DR will eventually become LR in time.

The Prizm skimmer from the 10g nano has been relocated to the 55g. and is doing wonderful things.

Other Equipment:

Good heater (also came with the tank), and a MaxiJet 900 powerhead to compliment the flow from the filter and skimmer.

CURRENT INHABITANTS:

Though this is a larger SW than my original nano, 55g is still quite small for the majority of sea life that is offered in most LFS. The selected fish were chosen with consideration to tank size.

1 Yellow Long-Nosed Butterfly (55g is still considered by some to be too small for a L-NB. It is currently S-M in size, and if needed can be offered to a larger system)

1 Coral Beauty Angel
1 Engineer Goby (also can get large, but was chosen because of its ability to dig up substrate
1 Lawnmower Blenny
1 Six Line Wrasse
2 Ocellaris Clowns (added just today!)
2 Camel Shrimp
1 Emerald Crab
1 blue-legged hermit crab
1 bumblebee snail (from 10g nano)
5 astrea snails (from 10g nano)
2 turbo snails

THE CHEMICALS:

I've always added calcium and pH buffer when necessary, but recently I started using Purple Up as part of the water supplement. I like using the PU because it contains all the necessary nutrients necessary for systems to thrive. If used with proper lighting, it will also induce your coralline algae growth.

I like the PU even better now, because I found that it helps control nitrate levels! The 55g was reaching towards 20ppm before I began using PU, and now it remains a comfortable near-zero reading. These observations have been noted for a month solid now. I still maintain filter changes weekly just to be on the safe side. I would be interested to know if anyone else has noticed these significant nitrate changes when using PU. Please post about it!

WHAT'S TO COME?:

The next upgrade to the 55g FOWLR is going to be better lighting, as I would like to see this aquarium become a reef environment. The standard 48" single bulb strip light is not going to cut it right now for corals.

Until next time!

-h-
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SLACkra
Advisors


Joined: 06 Feb 2003
Location: Perth, Western Australia, Australia

PostPosted: 2005.12.16(Fri)19:28    Post subject: Reply with quote

cool. I manged to score a free bottle of purple up and add about one-two drops a day. I think the coraline is growing a bit faster now. I also am considering suspending the metal halide light over it at the moment as well its sumer and I am bored and think it would look wicked(and its gong to be months before I need it on my future 3ft 50gallon tank)

keep us updated harlock!

Quote:
I like the PU even better now, because I found that it helps control nitrate levels! The 55g was reaching towards 20ppm before I began using PU, and now it remains a comfortable near-zero reading. These observations have been noted for a month solid now. I still maintain filter changes weekly just to be on the safe side. I would be interested to know if anyone else has noticed these significant nitrate changes when using PU. Please post about it!


I would say thats just because your tank is maturing etc. IMO I doupt it had anything to do with it.

also a good thing with tank journals are pictures Very Happy
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harlock
Exemplars


Joined: 28 Dec 2004
Location: NC

PostPosted: 2005.12.17(Sat)17:11    Post subject: A Picture!!! Reply with quote

You're absolutely right, Andrew.

I hope this link works. It's a link from my postings at nano-reef.com

Taken today:

http://www.nano-reef.com/gallery/data/500/medium/55g_12-17-05_--1.jpg

-h-
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harlock
Exemplars


Joined: 28 Dec 2004
Location: NC

PostPosted: 2005.12.18(Sun)19:02    Post subject: New Tenant Reply with quote

My wife and I took a trip down to our favorite LFS today, and came back with another fish for the 55g. We've had our eyes on these Pakistani butterfly fish for a while now, and they just happen to have one in stock today.

It's a great addition to the 55g, but it is helping seal the grim fate of this tank ever becoming a reef. The Butterfly fish are known for wreaking havoc on corals/inverts. With 2 butterflies in the 55g now, I'm pretty sure that I will not be adding corals. This will most likely remain a FOWLR system.

THE FISH:

2 ocellaris clowns
1 pakistani butterfly
1 yellow long nose butterfly
1 coral beauty
1 lawnmower blenny
1 engineer goby
1 six-line wrasse

THE INVERTS:

5 astrea snails
2 turbo snails
2 camel shrimp
1 small blue-legged hermit crab
1 bumblebee snail
1 mystery snail

-h-
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adamprice271
Regulars


Joined: 11 Mar 2003
Location: St.Louis. MO

PostPosted: 2005.12.20(Tue)16:04    Post subject: Reply with quote

I never used pruple up because it got bad reviews from 4 LFS in my area (I'm friends with the owners of a few and nobody liked it, and 2 were taking it off of their shelves.) The best stuff (which I use and so does 2 stores that dropped PU) is called B- Ionic. It is a suppliment the encourages coralline algae growths and works GREAT. Just adding in the reccomended amount 2 times a week made a very noticeable difference in just 1.5 months. Look for it and get it.

Adam

Oh and good luck with your tank, and remember the LNB is hard to care for because they (as well as the Copperband) have a very specialized diet. Usually consisting of copepods, and other small crustaceans that aren't easy to keep a good number of.
_________________
20long- 22 HY55 tetras,6 otos,pair of apisto borelli. HEAVILY planted
125g Geophagus altifronz, geo. surinimensis, satanoperca daemon
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harlock
Exemplars


Joined: 28 Dec 2004
Location: NC

PostPosted: 2005.12.20(Tue)20:43    Post subject: PU & LNBs Reply with quote

I'll look for the B-ionic. I'd like to compare ingredients, and see what the difference is.

As for the LNB, once he settled on a good frozen food, he's been nothing but easy to care for. The new Pakistani is going through the same 'food testing' phase, and I think it is beginning to keep some of the food in.

FISH LOSS:

One of the 2 new ocellaris clowns dies today Sad He looked a little off yesterday, and I figured this was coming. Some of his tank mates in the LFS looked unhealthy too, and I probably shouldn't have gone through with the sale. The other ocellaris is looking fine, and is eating well.

-h-
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harlock
Exemplars


Joined: 28 Dec 2004
Location: NC

PostPosted: 2005.12.21(Wed)19:22    Post subject: Chow Time Reply with quote

PICKY EATERS:

Today I definately witnessed the new pakistani butterfly eating. She ate and kept in quite a few bits of the frozen mix (marine cuisine & emerald entree) I feed the other fish. I was worried that eating would never happen, as the coral beauty was, and still is, giving the paki a hard time, and possibly stressing the paki. She's a tough one though, and isn't letting the coral beauty stop her appetite.

The remaining ocellaris is still alive, and isn't showing the same symptoms as his partner did. I'm still not certain of it's future just yet.

-h-
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harlock
Exemplars


Joined: 28 Dec 2004
Location: NC

PostPosted: 2006.01.04(Wed)13:30    Post subject: Back from Vacation! Reply with quote

RELAXATION:

I dred going on vacations because of these fish tanks. I'll think about my tanks at least 3 times a day while gone. Eventually I get over it, and say, "Whatever happens, happens."

I was mostly worried about the new Pakistani Butterfly I bought less than a week before my wife and I left for NY. It had only begun eating well a day or two before we were leaving, and while we were gone, it was only going to get the frozen food every other day! If it ate flakes it would have gotten 2 square meals a day with the automatic feeder.

I was mildly concerned about the Yellow Long-Nosed Butterfly (one of the original inhabitants), because he too only ate the frozen food. Luckily for both the Pakistani and the YL-N Butterflies, the LR hosts many different critters to pick at in case something like a vacation came up. So both butterflies were alive and well upon our return.

I knew the Coral Beauty, 6 Line Wrasse, Lawnmower Blenny, Engineer Goby, and various inverts would be alright. They all take the flake food just as readily as the frozen mix.

I was concerned for the remaining Ocellaris Clown though. He was alive when we left, but I was positive that he had stopped eating. According to my father-in-law, he never even saw a clown fish in the tank. The clown must have bought a ticket to ride the day we left, or the day after. Either way, there was never a body to prove it.

When we got back, I naturally checked the tanks before anything else, and upon seeing that there was no clowny, I just assumed that the nitrates must be sky high. It killed me to have to wait a day to check, but I had to.

So, this morning, while home sick with a nasty sinus infection, I performed tank maintainance on the 55g. To my amazment, the nitrates were still at a low 0-5ppm! Surely I thought a rotting fish would increase the naughties, but the other tank inhabitants must have chewed him up before his rot would mess with the water chemistry.

I decided to change out a large bucket's worth of water anyway, just to add some totally fresh stuff. While at it, I changed out the filters as they were over due because of the vacation.

NEW EQUIPMENT:
-------------------

As soon as I'm done posting this message, I'm ordering up a Satellite 130w lighting system. YES!!!

-h-
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harlock
Exemplars


Joined: 28 Dec 2004
Location: NC

PostPosted: 2006.01.06(Fri)20:09    Post subject: Goodies Reply with quote

NEW EQUIPMENT:
-------------------

The new lighting will be arriving on the 10th!!! This will give the 55g a total of 130w 50/50, a big increase from the stock 48" single thirty-something watt bulb. The new setup is a CURRENT USA dual 65w 50/50 Satellite, reasonably priced at @$100.00

My hope is that the added extra lampage will induce more coralline algae growth. I will also begin to stock simple corals again, such as mushrooms, as a test to see if the butterflies will actually nosh on them. If they do, the tank will remain a FOWLR.

NEW INVERTS?
----------------

I'm going to pick up a good cleaner shrimp. I have 2 camels, but they don't look after the fish like a good ole cleaner shrimp. Hopefully everyone will get along.

OPPOSITE DAY IN TURBO TOWN:
-------------------------------------

So I got these 2 turbo snails a loooooong while ago, to do the job only a turbo snail can do. These 2 good-for-nothings have got to be the SLOWEST turbos that ever graced the grime of home aquaria! They hardly move. Sometimes it will be a week to 2 weeks before they move from one place to another. Lazy sods. Evil or Very Mad Thank goodness for the astreas!

-h-
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harlock
Exemplars


Joined: 28 Dec 2004
Location: NC

PostPosted: 2006.01.07(Sat)21:43    Post subject: No Women. No Kids. Reply with quote

THE CLEANER:
----------------

I love going to the LFS. I mean, I really LOVE it. There are so many great specimens to look at, so many to keep in mind for future setups, so many you wish the LFS didn't stock because you know some poor hack will just kill it, so many. So, after drooling over the tanks for an hour or so, I decided to call it a visit, and put my order in for the day.

I had two purposes for the visit: 1) exchange that FUNKY nitrate kit for one with a solution #1 that wasn't a nasty yellow-green color. 2) buy a cleaner shrimp. The nitrate kit was easily exchanged, and I was much obliged. There was also a cute little cleaner shrimp in stock (the last one), and I was able to scoop him up too. He's a wee thing, and should have quite a long run in the 55g.

He's been staying on the backs of rocks, hidden away, but has made a few appearances in the open. His demeanor is nothing like that of the 2 camel shrimp, who stay in full view all of the time. Perhaps in time, the cleaner will become less shy.

Oddly enough, when I came home tonight, the 2 camel shrimp were on the rock that is furthest to the right. They usually stay on a great piece of LR in the center of the tank that we have come to call, "The Shrimp Rock". Did the camel shrimps' migration have anything to do with the new cleaner hanging out on the backside of The Shrimp Rock? Who knows.

WOW... I just watched the coral beauty chase one of the camel shrimp, at full speed, half way across the tank! The shrimp won! MIGHTY fast! That's a first.

NITRATE UPDATE:
--------------------

Upon returning from my visit to the LFS, I immediately wanted to check the nitrates in the 55g. After all, my not knowing what they were in the past 2 weeks because of the bad kit was driving me crazy! I wasn't sure what to expect, though I was leaning more towards the 0-5ppm because that's what my older kit was reading.

This NEW kit registered close to 20ppm, but not quite 20ppm. I was a little upset, but knew it is nothing to stress about. Going away on vacations can do that sort of thing. So tomorrow, I'm going to change out at least 1/3 of the water, or perhaps 50%

-h-
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