View Full Version : 55 bowfront setup

sam bozeman
01/28/2016, 03:07 PM
Hello everyone! I'm newish to the forum. I've been into the marine hobby for about 5 years, but as I had a small baby and dead end job, I couldn't afford to maintain my peacock I had and sold her to a good friend in my town. He has taken good care of her and she is Doug well. But now I'm established in a career and still had my acrylic bowfront so now I'm going to be setting it up again soon. I was wondering what sort of skimmer I should use. I'm going to be getting two lights that connect with my phone from my lfs and it will be a natural looking environment for the mantis. Any input about skimmers, corals, or any constructive criticism is always welcome! I enjoy reading the posts on here as the mantis section on this forum is always the nicest and least negative around. I'm attaching photos of a 5 gal nano build I setup recently just because on the other section no one commented and I'd love to see what you guys think so far. It's going to be a pipefish habitat with a nice coral selection. I have a 12" actinic Led strip arriving tomorrow or the day after from Amazon for some extra lighting

sam bozeman
01/28/2016, 03:08 PM

sam bozeman
01/28/2016, 03:09 PM
Quick question, does anyone know the species of that drag??

01/28/2016, 03:44 PM
Welcome to the mantis shrimp forum, Sam.

The frag looks like a trumpet coral of some kind maybe? Can't be sure of the scientific name. I like the look of a bowfront tank, although I've never owned one. I had a 5G nano tank running until recently. Mine was for small inverts and I liked it but really got into the hobby for mantis shrimp and I decided this month to break down the 5G and concentrate on my 40B. Only three pieces of advice I can give you for the nano tank are: 1)maintain high flow, 2) have a plan to deal with nuisance algae/cyano, and 3) check out this really great thread on aquascaping - http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2217633&highlight=aquascape

The thread above helps people create really cool rock formations that will look great in a small tank like yours.

Now, on to talking about mantis shrimp! If you have a sump, there are many, many options for a skimmer, but if you're going HOB I have some specific recommendations. I have the Reef Octopus BH-1000 and it's a great skimmer. Not too noisy in my opinion, draws plenty of skimmate, no problems once I figured out how to avoid the overflowing when you first set it up. Another good HOB option is the Aquamaxx HOB XC. What I like about this one is its smaller pipes inside the tank so it's less noticeable. It also has a special compartment for your heater so you can avoid clutter in the tank itself. The Aquamaxx is more expensive though. Then again, no good skimmer is really "cheap."

For corals, I like my yellow nano whip that I got from KPaquatics. It adds some movement to the tank that I like and its very hardy. I also love my red Montipora Capricornis. Grows well and just about bulletproof in my experience. I have a couple green birdsnest pieces that do pretty well in my tank, but really any coral will work just fine as long as you have the right lighting and flow. What fixture are you getting from your LFS?

Do you want to get a Peacock again? If so, here's the video I made about my Peacock tank: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27ejOxSlTQY. It will help you with some of the basics. My tank looks really different now actually because I got a different light, added a skimmer, and a lot more corals. I need to take some more photos soon.

sam bozeman
01/28/2016, 03:52 PM
Yeah, I want a HOB skimmer, I'm trying to avoid clutter, as I'm in a rather small house. I'm probably going peacock again as it's what I know and love. Thanks for the info so far. idk the name of the lights yet I'll grab the name and model when I go up tonight, they are roughly $125 apiece. I'm doing a really natural looking setup, well at least I'm going to try

01/28/2016, 04:05 PM
Do you mind hearing the skimmer a little bit or do you want absolute quiet? The reason I ask is because some people don't want to hear the skimmer making any noise and the Reef Octopus does make a little noise. It's quiet enough for me, but I can hear it when I walk past the room if the door is open.

Constructing a tank with the natural environment in mind is the best way (in my opinion). Try to allow lots of open space for the Peacock to roam around. I diminished the amount of LR in the tank by getting a small HOB refugium and filling it with MarinePure spheres. They maintain my bio filter, and I have plenty of open areas for the Peacock to explore since I only have about 15 lbs of LR in a 40 gallon tank.

sam bozeman
01/28/2016, 05:13 PM
I dont mind the noise myself, I always have the mantra as quieter is better, but I just tune it out, however my fiance is of the mindset where every noise matters, but in the end she gets over it as mantis shrimp are a way of life for me. The tank will be either in the kitchen or living room. I will do some research on these skimmers when I get home. As far as lighting, my lfs guy swears two AI prime lights will be enough for some sps in the tank? Have you guys had any experience with them? As far as live rock, I'm going to do like a semi circular formation along the back, kind of mirroring the bow of the tank. It will leave plenty of room for the mantis to wander and explore, and I'm going to leave plenty of substrate and small rocks for it to pick up and move on its own. I know there is a lot of love for PCV burrows here, but I was going to make a tunnel of live rock in the formation and about a 6" sand bed so it can make its own burrow, adding to the natural looks of the tank

01/28/2016, 07:38 PM
If you do that make sure the rock work is sitting on the bottom of the tank, not on top of the sand. It will shift and possibly fall if it's not on the bottom and you want it to create a large burrow on its own. I would still do a PVC though and just hide it well

sam bozeman
01/29/2016, 05:43 AM
Yeah, I was going to do all my aquascaping in the bare tank and add all my substrate down around it just to make sure it's stable

01/29/2016, 07:17 AM
For a Peacock I really wouldn't recommend a 6 in layer of substrate because they'll just use the PVC and that will become a trap for detritus that will leach nutrients back into the tank. It can still work of course, but in the end even 6 in of sand isn't enough for a natural burrow for a full grown Peacock.

Regarding the lights, the AI Prime is what I have. I just started a thread with some pictures of it. I only have one over my 40B right now and it's allowed SPS to grow. Once I get another one it'll really get things going so I agree with your LFS that 2 Prime's will grow SPS in your tank. It's a bit tricky to get the hang of it at first, but once you do it's a really cool light.

sam bozeman
01/31/2016, 09:05 AM
Cool, thanks! I guess I'll start entertaining the thought of how best to camoflauge some pcv

01/31/2016, 09:46 AM
The camouflaging part isn't that bad...just get a plastic knife and smear some epoxy evenly across the surface and sprinkle aragonite or fine sand all over it, let it sit overnight and you're done.

Some people are more creative than that and attach small rocks and shells to the outside of the pipe as well. I'm trying that approach with the pipe that I'm working on now (my Peacock has outgrown his current set-up). When it's time to put it in the tank, just arrange some pieces of LR on and around the pipe and your part is done. The mantis itself will actually make it look more natural by moving sand and rock around it to make it look like it actually belongs in the tank.

sam bozeman
01/31/2016, 02:25 PM
Cool, thanks! Side note, what lighting did you use for your 5 gallon? Having trouble finding the right light for what I'm looking for.

01/31/2016, 11:01 PM
Just a cheap LED fixture off Amazon. It didn't look half bad actually. I may use it to grow macroalgae if I ever have a sump someday. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00UKYFF7Y/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1