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Old 01/25/2018, 07:36 AM   #1
MyHouseIsAZoo
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14gal Nano Reef

We might be crazy for doing a nano as our first saltwater tank, but we rarely do things the easy way!

We are currently cycling a 14 gallon bio cube. We bought it on Sunday and our levels are slowly coming down. We are still researching what will do well. I think I am finally happy with the rock. I've only restacked it 5-6 times.


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Old 02/02/2018, 07:59 AM   #2
BeachVacationer
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My advice would be to arrange rocks a bit away from the glass just enough so that you can still clean the glass whatever method of your choice. I personally like my glass really clean so I can see everything crystal clear. Also arrange to minimize dead spots.


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Old 02/14/2018, 01:36 PM   #3
MyHouseIsAZoo
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We have added some friends to the tank over the last few weeks. Of course I haven't taken photos of the coral. I will try to update with those soon

Added friends

-Red & Blue Hermits
-Blood Shrimp (I love him)
-Nassarius snails (2...although I only ever see 1, they burrowed in the sand as soon as they went in the tank. I'm not sure if both are alive or if they only come up one at a time)
-Astrea Snails (2)
-Pistol shrip and goby


We have 3 coral frags. We weren't planning to glue them, but the hermits keep uprooting them (we put the stems in holes in the live rock) so we may end up gluing them down.

Our kids liked our freshwater tank, but everyone is loving the saltwater tank. It is right next to our kitchen table so it sees a lot of traffic. My 18 year old sister is living with us until she goes to college in the fall and she spends a couple of hours a day watching the tank. My mother in law is at our house daily and the first thing she does when she arrives is check out the tank. Everyone comments about how its just a little different every day. We won't add any more fish, but will continue to add coral. We are keeping an eye on the small cleaner crew we have, the LFS recommended more snails, but we want to see what these guys do first. I don't want to leave anyone fighting for resources!

We have a 75 gallon tank and stand that will be saltwater. It will be a slow build, but the kids (6 & 8) are already pushing us to get it started


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Old 02/14/2018, 01:37 PM   #4
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I'm not sure how to edit, but I forgot to mention the obvious 2 clowns. Dom and Letti.


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Old 02/14/2018, 07:55 PM   #5
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14gal Nano Reef

Quote:
Originally Posted by MyHouseIsAZoo View Post
I'm not sure how to edit, but I forgot to mention the obvious 2 clowns. Dom and Letti.


You should put the heater in one of the chambers in the back of the tank. The clownfish like to rub up against things and could very well burn themselves.

Also, has the tank cycled? The rock looks very clean for a freshly cycled tank lol.



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Old 02/15/2018, 07:34 AM   #6
MyHouseIsAZoo
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You should put the heater in one of the chambers in the back of the tank. The clownfish like to rub up against things and could very well burn themselves.

Also, has the tank cycled? The rock looks very clean for a freshly cycled tank lol.



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Good to know about the heater. Putting it in back will keep the water the desired temperature? They mostly stay to the other side of the tank. They like to hang out by the filter intake.

I belive it has cycled. The rock was dry rock so maybe that's why it's so clean? LFS recommended cycling using SeaChem Stability, which we did. The bottle said we would be up and running in a week, we waited 2. We had spikes of ammonia and nitrates. Didn't add anything until they were at zero. Talked to two LFS and had water tested by them before we added any fish. Everything in the tank seems to be active and healthy. I hope I haven't screwed up!!

Last night I found the suspected dead snail. He was alive and eating, also seemed a little ****ed that he was uncovered. Apparently the Nassarius snails don't like to be seen together

The clown fish are friendly little buggers! They come right up when I'm filling test tubes to test the water (I test levels every other day to make sure things are in check and there are no surprizes. If there are changes that appear to be sudden, I test even if everything was stable the day before).

I have discovered that all of the creatures prefer frozen food to pellets (I don't blame them). Right now we are feeding mysis shrimp, Omega 1 Carnivore (I think thats what it is) and Ocean Nutrition Formula 1 pellets. The preference by all seems to be the Omega 1. Both of the shrimp come out for that one!


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Old 02/15/2018, 08:46 AM   #7
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Putting the heater in the back will keep the water at the desired temp, so long as it is the same water circulating throughout the rest of the tank, the placement of the heater has no affect on temperature. Just make sure you place it somewhere with a constant water level so that you dont have to worry about forgetting to top off, the water level dropping below the heater, and the heater exploding. But so long as it is somewhere with a constant water level that will not be an issue either.

As far as your cycle it seems you were pretty darn thorough and did your due diligence. It sounds like the tank was cycled properly, and you dont seem to be rushing it, which is good. Especially so in this hobby, patience is key.


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Old 02/15/2018, 09:58 AM   #8
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Putting the heater in the back will keep the water at the desired temp, so long as it is the same water circulating throughout the rest of the tank, the placement of the heater has no affect on temperature. Just make sure you place it somewhere with a constant water level so that you dont have to worry about forgetting to top off, the water level dropping below the heater, and the heater exploding. But so long as it is somewhere with a constant water level that will not be an issue either.

As far as your cycle it seems you were pretty darn thorough and did your due diligence. It sounds like the tank was cycled properly, and you dont seem to be rushing it, which is good. Especially so in this hobby, patience is key.
I will move the heater tonight. It looks better when you can't see it anyway!

Glad it doesn't seem like I messed up the cycle. I'm trying to make sure I'm doing my research and doing things right. When we've had freshwater tanks, losing a $12 fish wasn't devistating. Losing a $50 shrimp, would put a slight damper on my day.


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Old 02/15/2018, 11:24 AM   #9
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I will move the heater tonight. It looks better when you can't see it anyway!



Glad it doesn't seem like I messed up the cycle. I'm trying to make sure I'm doing my research and doing things right. When we've had freshwater tanks, losing a $12 fish wasn't devistating. Losing a $50 shrimp, would put a slight damper on my day.


Yup sounds like you're doing great! And it will def look better with the Heater in the back . Also seems like you got lucky, every time I cycle a tank I always get some sort of algae outbreak, although don't be too surprised if you get one. I'd def make sure you set up your Rock work so you can fit your hand between said rock and the glass all the way around. There's nothing more annoying than having a piece of glass you can't clean dude to poor planning. Let us know if you have any other questions!


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Old 02/15/2018, 12:09 PM   #10
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Yup sounds like you're doing great! And it will def look better with the Heater in the back . Also seems like you got lucky, every time I cycle a tank I always get some sort of algae outbreak, although don't be too surprised if you get one. I'd def make sure you set up your Rock work so you can fit your hand between said rock and the glass all the way around. There's nothing more annoying than having a piece of glass you can't clean dude to poor planning. Let us know if you have any other questions!


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We are having a bit of an algae outbreak right now. It isn't too bad. The clean up crew seems to be trying to keep up with it.

We didn't get as many snails or crabs as the LFS recommended. So if they struggle to keep up with the bloom, we will consider more. I felt like 4 crabs and 8 snails were a bit much for a 14g tank.


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Old 02/15/2018, 01:11 PM   #11
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We are having a bit of an algae outbreak right now. It isn't too bad. The clean up crew seems to be trying to keep up with it.



We didn't get as many snails or crabs as the LFS recommended. So if they struggle to keep up with the bloom, we will consider more. I felt like 4 crabs and 8 snails were a bit much for a 14g tank.


Yea be careful with the hermit crabs. They love knocking corals over if they're not secured


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Old 02/16/2018, 07:28 AM   #12
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Yea be careful with the hermit crabs. They love knocking corals over if they're not secured
I'm noticing that They love getting in all the crevices of the rock and have rearranged my coral for me a couple of times. We will have to get them secured permanently. I hate moving them because I'm terrifed that I'm going to hurt them.


I took photos of the corals this morning. I know that the lavendar one is a Pulsing Xinia. I am hoping I can keep it under control as I've read they can be quite prolific and take over a tank. I'm not certian what the other two are (I can't find my reciept that tells me) The bubbly one used to be lower and got moved up after he was knocked over. He used to get really tall, but now he is shorter and more bubbly...I'm guessing because of his proximity to the lights. I felt like he was always reaching for the lights before.


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Old 02/16/2018, 07:34 AM   #13
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I'm noticing that They love getting in all the crevices of the rock and have rearranged my coral for me a couple of times. We will have to get them secured permanently. I hate moving them because I'm terrifed that I'm going to hurt them.





I took photos of the corals this morning. I know that the lavendar one is a Pulsing Xinia. I am hoping I can keep it under control as I've read they can be quite prolific and take over a tank. I'm not certian what the other two are (I can't find my reciept that tells me) The bubbly one used to be lower and got moved up after he was knocked over. He used to get really tall, but now he is shorter and more bubbly...I'm guessing because of his proximity to the lights. I felt like he was always reaching for the lights before.


The green one with purple Matt are green star polyps. These are prob one of the easiest corals to grow and prob one of the hardiest. Also one of my fav. Xenia is a funny coral. Either it will grow like weeds in your tank and you can literally just cut it out in places you don't want, or it won't grow at all. The other LPS coral you have is "Galaxia". A very cool coral, but prob wouldn't consider it a beginner coral, but that's okay. Just a heads up they prob have one of the longest sweeper tentacles and can potentially sting other corals. After the coral settles in take a dim flashlight and check the coral out at night after the lights have been off for an hour.

The huge bright green mass, bottom left in the following picture is a green star poly colony (aka "GSP")




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Old 02/16/2018, 08:44 AM   #14
MyHouseIsAZoo
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The green one with purple Matt are green star polyps. These are prob one of the easiest corals to grow and prob one of the hardiest. Also one of my fav. Xenia is a funny coral. Either it will grow like weeds in your tank and you can literally just cut it out in places you don't want, or it won't grow at all. The other LPS coral you have is "Galaxia". A very cool coral, but prob wouldn't consider it a beginner coral, but that's okay. Just a heads up they prob have one of the longest sweeper tentacles and can potentially sting other corals. After the coral settles in take a dim flashlight and check the coral out at night after the lights have been off for an hour.

The huge bright green mass, bottom left in the following picture is a green star poly colony (aka "GSP")




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Thanks for the IDs!

Should I move the Galaxia away from other corals? We have a couple of rocks that are isolated that I can glue him to. We plan to add more and I don't want him being a big bully and killing everything!

Love your photo! That GSP is beautiful! I'm also oogling the anemone. I want to get one when we set up our 75 gallon. They facinate me!


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Old 02/16/2018, 10:31 AM   #15
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Your first picture in post #12 looks like there might be bubble algae on the closest frag plug. If so, i'd get that removed (and do so outside of the tank) asap. Make sure you're at the very least doing a very thorough visual inspection of all corals entering your system if you are not able to QT


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Old 02/19/2018, 06:57 AM   #16
MyHouseIsAZoo
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Your first picture in post #12 looks like there might be bubble algae on the closest frag plug. If so, i'd get that removed (and do so outside of the tank) asap. Make sure you're at the very least doing a very thorough visual inspection of all corals entering your system if you are not able to QT
Thank you for pointing that out. We had noticed that those bubbles had gotten bigger. We took care of this yesterday!


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Old 02/19/2018, 07:13 AM   #17
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Sunday we had some tank drama!

The rocks have been unsettled due to the pistol shrimp burrowing under them and the snails and crabs moving around on them. I was using our magnetic algae scraper on the glass and was getting a little agressive, the movement of the water caused one of the big rocks to fall. The hermits had uprooted the FSP on Saturday and this fall dropped the Xenia too. We were already planing to move the Galaxia to her (hubby decided that it must be a female if it is at risk of stinging other coral out of spite) own rock so she wouldn't be as much of a threat to the others. We had bought some super glue gel to secure the coral so the crabs would stop knocking them down. We rearranged the rock to make them sturdier and secured them with glue. We scaraped the potential bubble algae from the base of the Galaxia and glued her to her new rock. The FSP and Xenia were being glued to larger rocks so we were placing them at the tank. As I was lifting the Xenia frag plug, HE. FELL. OFF!! Head first, splat on to the floor in front of the tank. We glued him directly on to the rock and he is starting to open up more as of this morning, but nothing like the beauty in last week's photos. I hope we haven't killed our poor little Fabio (yes, we name our coral). The FSP is looking fuller this morning than it ever has! The photos are from last night. The Galaxia doesn't seem to care that she was shuffled around. We also went ahead and tucked the heater into the back chamber so the clowns don't burn themselves. I will say that everyone but the Xenia seems to be more active than ever before with these changes. The clowns had been sticking to one side of the tank before. When I fed them last night they were even picking food off the rocks which they hadn't done before. There is room all around the rocks so the goby will come out either side and hang out. As will the blood shrimp (I wish he wouldn't hide as much because he is SO pretty).

The FSP was just starting to open up when I took these photos last night. But I think we are all liking the new rockscape (which is good because it is a little more permanent with the glue...I don't want them to fall and hurt anything).


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Old 03/09/2018, 02:12 PM   #18
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I'm not sure what is off, but my coral is not doing well. The Galaxia is just kind of there, not nearly as full and 'happy'. The pulsing Xenia closed up and then when I was cleaning some bubbles off the rock with a turkey baster it just disintegrated, this happened over 48-72 hours. My salinity, nitrates, phosphorous and ammonia are all right where they should be. The only other dieoff I have had is one snail.

The blood shrimp has already molted and we've had at least 1 hermit switch shells. The fish all seem to be active and healthy. The star polyps closed up for about a week and then reopened and had grown quite a bit.

Hopefully I can get this problem figured out and fixed soon!


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Old 03/16/2018, 09:45 AM   #19
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Pretty much all coral but the GSP died. We aren't 100% the galaxea is dead, so it's still there. I removed the other. All of the other creatures seem to be thriving! We won't be adding any new coral for a while. Trying to let the tank settle and make sure that anything we add is going into a stable environment.

Last weekend my sister an I actually watched one of the hermits switch shells, then change his mind and switch back. It was pretty neat to watch! Even with no new additions to the tank it is still one of the spotlights of our house!

We did pick up a tank that will be the sump for our 75 gallon. We may work on that a little more and hopefully start setting it up.


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Old 03/19/2018, 07:40 AM   #20
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The galaxea is perking back up! Sunday morning it had a couple of sweepers extended when I turned on the lights. It is also puffing back up a bit (the ends were always a bit bulbous). I have hope that it is going to make it.

No big changes in the tank. Still loving to watch it. Everyone has their own personality.
The clown fish are always coming up to greet anyone who walks past the tank, even the dogs (I am constantly cleaning nose smudges off the glass).
The goby (Goby-1-knobe) comes out when he thinks he will get food. Otherwise he is pretty shy.
When I'm feeding, Bob-the-Builder (the pistol shrimp) will make a few appearances. He has managed to tunnel from one end of the tank to the other, so they will surprise us and pop out of a different hole some days.
The blood shrimp has a ledge that he always hangs out under, but when I feed he will emerge. I've been turning the lights off completely at night instead of leaving the moonlight on and he is often hanging out on top of the rocks when I turn on the first lights in the morning.
Tyson the boxing crab is our biggest hider. I keep fearing he is dead because no one has seen him for days, then he will be out playing when someone walks past. He was out scampering about Sunday morning when I turned on the first light.

Now if the crabs and snails would get the algae off the rocks so the tank isn't so green we would be golden!


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Old 03/22/2018, 07:10 AM   #21
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Took some new photos of the tank this morning. Had some extra time on my hands. The GSP was a little closed up this morning (I think the hermits were cleaning him before I turned the lights on) but is otherwise doing well.


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Old 03/22/2018, 07:12 AM   #22
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The clowns are growing and still super active and friendly! They have beautiful coloring.

The last 3 photos are some new "growths" on the rock. Not sure if they are normal or if we have picked up some hitch hikers somewhere.


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