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Discussion Starter #1
O.K. The tank is a 30gal. long. I want to keep this tank at simple as possible, so no sump, no skimmer. I going to use a hang on the back filter and chemi-pure medium. The biggest drew to this tank will be the rock work. I am going to go all out with the aqua scape. So I started bonding my rock last night.(I'll get so pics up soon). For the lighting it will be a 6 bulb 36in. Nova Extreme T5 unit 4x10k and 2x 36watt actinic. I want to do alot of caves over hangs and coves. I don't know what fish are going to be housed yet, but I'm thinking very small fish like Clown Gobys maybe a few Chromis. Since there is going to some good lighting all over this tank it's going to be more of a grow out tank for some SPS' but will houses more LPS' and maybe some nice mushrooms. Well that's it for now, I'll get some pictures up this afternoon. Any suggestion will be more then welcome, thanks
 

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Sounds nice, especially the lighting. There are a lot of neat "nano" fish if you're looking to keep things small. Clown gobies are great and gobies in the genus Trimma are fun too. Once you get to the fish part, maybe think about doing a shrimp/goby pair. They're great to watch and are good substrate sifters. What kind of filter are you going to be using?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Can't wait to see the pics :)

What do you use to bond your LR?
I use two different types of bonding...On some larger rocks I will drill a 3/4" hole and run a Acrylic Rod through the hole. This is good for making caves and arches. The second is

This is good for stacking odd shape rocks this also helps open the tank up and prevent dangerous rock slides. You can apply to dry rock or wet or even under water set in 20 minute fully cures in 24 hours.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Sounds nice, especially the lighting. There are a lot of neat "nano" fish if you're looking to keep things small. Clown gobies are great and gobies in the genus Trimma are fun too. Once you get to the fish part, maybe think about doing a shrimp/goby pair. They're great to watch and are good substrate sifters. What kind of filter are you going to be using?
I thought about a shrimp/ goby pair. And I'm sure I will. I can't do this in my display tank because of to many mean fish they would get no piece at all. As far as the filter goes, it's a millennium 3000 with air injections.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
O.K Here what we have so far...I took some random rock I had laying around




but before I go on I have to tell you'll what happen over the weekend as I was starting to put this tank together. It took all night but I had all my rock lied out placed it in the tank and added my sand. The only thing left to do was add water. So I did, I was pumping the pre-made salt water into the tank and the tank started to leak from one of the seems in the side. Needless to say this tank was starting off on the wrong foot. Luckily I had a friend coming down early Sunday morning to trade some coral and he was able to pick up a tank for me on his way down. With all that said, here is the new tank.


I did say I was going to keep this tank simple, but I have added a prism skimmer to help with the cycle. Since all the rock in the tank had been dried out and so was the sand, this tank is starting out with 0 bacteria base. So I started adding Nutrafin "cycle" to kick start the cycling process. Although the first water test showed Ammonia at 1ppm this would be do to some die off in the sand.

About the rock work...One thing I said I wanted to do with this tank was make it as open as possible with a lot of caves, over hangs and dart a dash holes so this is what I came up with. The first pic is of the dry rock on top of that I added some already cured rock out of another system to help seed and aid in the cycling process. So this is what it looks like.




Last but not least I added a back ground. This back ground is a nice light blue. I would've like to have used a darker blue but I didn't have enough.


Well that's it for now I will keep you all posted as the tank cycles. In the mean time let me know what you think about it so far. Thanks for your time.
 

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looks great! you should also consider getting some nice zoo's! they would love that lighting and propagate fast!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
My latest water test readings
Ammonia 0
Nitrites 0
Nitrates 10ppm
PH 8.3
Salt level 1.025
Temp. 79.8
The tank is covered in brown algae, but that's no more then new tank syndrome so I added 5 snails and another power head and I'm going to leave the lights out for about two days to see what happens.
 

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Hay..
As nice as it is now I can see you having problems, My first attempt at reefing was pretty much the same set up and I constantly had to fight algae blooms, evaporation problems, and the dreaded red slime.
I think having no sump is a huge drawback for this setup.. Them t5's will evaporate up to 2L of water a day.. It will be hard to maintain SG.
I also think you need to have a dedicated skimmer running 24/7 and macro algae, this along with the live rook will be a better method of filtration. them hang on filters are nitrate factory's.
In short a sump/fudge is a must IMO. Good luck and i look forward to see how things develop.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hay..
As nice as it is now I can see you having problems, My first attempt at reefing was pretty much the same set up and I constantly had to fight algae blooms, evaporation problems, and the dreaded red slime.
I think having no sump is a huge drawback for this setup.. Them t5's will evaporate up to 2L of water a day.. It will be hard to maintain SG.
I also think you need to have a dedicated skimmer running 24/7 and macro algae, this along with the live rook will be a better method of filtration. them hang on filters are nitrate factory's.
In short a sump/fudge is a must IMO. Good luck and i look forward to see how things develop.
I have to disagree with most of this post...Just hear me out. I have set up more then a few tanks with no skimmer no sump. I have done two tank with no filter at all just two power heads. Only time a filter becomes a nitrate factory is when you don't take care of them. Please explain how you would have a SG problem? Any open system will have evaporation with T5's you have less because there's not as much heat as say MH lighting. Granted having a sump is the best way to go but it's not a must. Algae and red slim just don't happen there are reasons for them.
 

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Hay man I'm not trying to knock your approach to this setup, I'm just sharing my experiences with a very similar set up of my own.
now just to quote you:.. I have set up more then a few tanks with no skimmer no sump. I have done two tank with no filter at all just two power heads. Only time a filter becomes a nitrate factory is when you don't take care of them. Well that explains why you went to the extremes of vodka dosing IMO.
As far as specific gravity go's, I can only see problems.. having no sump would mean faster evaporation.. and trust me that many T5's on that small sump less tank would shure have a fast rate of evaporation. Any RO/DI top off you had in place would enter in to the display tank right?.. If so how is that a good thing for your livestock.
As you have stated you are going for the cheep and simple approach, But in My opinion it never is in this game.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hay man I'm not trying to knock your approach to this setup, I'm just sharing my experiences with a very similar set up of my own.
now just to quote you:.. I have set up more then a few tanks with no skimmer no sump. I have done two tank with no filter at all just two power heads. Only time a filter becomes a nitrate factory is when you don't take care of them. Well that explains why you went to the extremes of vodka dosing IMO.
As far as specific gravity go's, I can only see problems.. having no sump would mean faster evaporation.. and trust me that many T5's on that small sump less tank would shure have a fast rate of evaporation. Any RO/DI top off you had in place would enter in to the display tank right?.. If so how is that a good thing for your livestock.
As you have stated you are going for the cheep and simple approach, But in My opinion it never is in this game.
I never said anything about cheep and Vodka dosing was an experiment. I value your experiences, but it's not matter of fact. In total I have 5 tanks up and running and I try different things(So I don't comment on thing I don't know about). So don't take the fact that I vodka dosed as an extreme.
 

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Cheep/Simple same thing.
Vodka dosing is a extreme way to lower nitrates and has many risks associated with it, You can achieve the same results with a refugium full of macro algae that wont kill your livestock. That is my reason for seeing vodka dosing as extreme.
In fact I believe had you had a well seeded refugium and practised more conventional methods of reef husbandry, then you most likely wouldn't of gone down that path.
And hay 5 tanks means nothing to me... having one successful tank is what its all about.
I wish you all the best with your endeavor and hope you take my posts as constructive criticism as they are intended.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Cheep/Simple same thing.
Vodka dosing is a extreme way to lower nitrates and has many risks associated with it, You can achieve the same results with a refugium full of macro algae that wont kill your livestock. That is my reason for seeing vodka dosing as extreme.
In fact I believe had you had a well seeded refugium and practised more conventional methods of reef husbandry, then you most likely wouldn't of gone down that path.
And hay 5 tanks means nothing to me... having one successful tank is what its all about.
I wish you all the best with your endeavor and hope you take my posts as constructive criticism as they are intended.
Is there anything about this hobby that's cheep??? And vodka dosing was an experiment. I like to do this thing called knowing what I'm talking about. I don't comment on things I haven't tried myself. I'm not new at this my friend.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Tanks doing well...been adding B-Ionic for the past 2 week to get the Cal & Alk up. Right now I only have some GSP in the tank, but I'm in the process of adding a few other coral to see how things go. I plan to have just SPS and some matting corals to cover the rock. The only fish in the tank is a large Mid night damsel but his days are numbered. He likes to kick up sand a watch it fall like a snow globe. And every now and then he'll grab hold of a snail or crab and take it to the top of the tank and drop it then chase it back down to the sand. I guess he must be board in there swimming all by himself. I also added a moded maxi-jet 900 to add more flow. Sence I plan on just doing SPS' I may have to do what I didn't want to do in the beginning and add a sump for some more water volume.
 
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