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Thread: Amphiprion's Coral and Seagrass 40g Breeder

  1. #1

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    Amphiprion's Coral and Seagrass 40g Breeder

    For some background, the tank will feature some coral and plenty of seagrass. I'm hoping for some hardier, fast growing corals for the rock structure. I'm thinking something like a couple of staghorn species, a branching and plating Montipora species, or maybe a Heliopora/blue ridge in place of the branching Montipora. Had a huge one of those in my old 75 and I loved it. May have a sand dwelling anemone on the far side and possibly a smattering of larger polyped corals here and there. It will be comparatively sparse, but I'm hoping to grow larger, mature corals instead of the assortment, so to speak. This also will not be a designer-style tank with every color and named coral known to man. I won't be paying for those, unfortunately.

    Okay, some specs on the tank:

    40g Breeder @ 36"x18"x17"
    2-250w XM 10K lamps (one is DE, sorry for the lack of symmetry, lol)
    1-Vortech MP40w ES--will add more as things fill in and sand settles/gets biofilm
    ~10lbs base rock and ~10lbs live rock, infested
    ~120lbs of sand for seagrass

    Scrubber is the only filtration--may later include skimmer, as I've found it helps with the heavy amount of organics seagrasses create. It consists of a 9"x10" screen lit by 2-40w CFLs, all fed from my overflow.

    Now for the pics, in rough order:

    Leak test:


    Rough 'scape with about the same amount of overall rock that will be in the tank, maybe a very small amount more. More of a mock-up than anything:


    Filling it up:


    Couldn't resist turning the lamp on to see how it would look:


    Minus the trash bag:


    Got some nice live rock with an amazing surprise to complete my collection:




    No big deal, right. Hey, it will only set me back a few months as far as letting my fish go.

    So, here it is as of a couple of days ago. My poor fish are staying in the breeder nets, but doing well. I'm hoping they can be released in several weeks to a month, as I haven't seen anymore isopods after removing 70+ individuals from only 10 lbs of rock (!!!):






    Loving these 10K lamps--it gives it an incredibly natural look. No pics of the scrubber just yet, as it is unproductive. There is very little input into the tank, which is slowing it down. I would pick up the feeding pace, but I don't want to feed the cirolanids, either. Any and all food stays in those little breeding nets and is eaten promptly. Anyway, let me know what you guys think. I'm hoping this will be a successful long term setup, which is one reason I've ditched the smaller, faster growing seagrasses, which crashed my last system. The turtle grass and shoal grass grows substantially slower, so I'm hoping that will do the trick.

  2. #2
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    I want to get grasses too one day. Was my original reason for looking into scrubbers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SantaMonica View Post
    I want to get grasses too one day. Was my original reason for looking into scrubbers.
    I think you'd really enjoy seagrasses. They've been a unique experience all unto themselves and a great one, at that. They provide a look that just can't be provided any other way. I think most of the tanks I do in the future will probably feature them to one extent or another. As you can tell by the sheer surface area devoted to sand, this tank will be very largely dominated by them. The scrubber should minimize the epiphytes, too, which helps each blade live longer and run more efficiently. In any case, I will keep things up to date here. I've had some bad luck the last several years with my tanks, so I'm hoping that the careful planning and meticulousness I've put into this one so far will pay off.

  4. #4

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    How did sea grass cause crash?
    One reason I like freshwater tanks. I think plants make them more appealing to the eye and natural. Watching the fish move through them is nice.
    Don't recall where I saw it. But some guy had his whole refugium filled with sea grass. It was very nice, and seeing fish basking among them was cool.
    Looking forward to seeing this one mature.

  5. #5

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    I had a smaller species that grew very fast. It had a substantial biomass and reached a tipping point, subsequently dying. No clue why it died, but the amount of organics was huge. A large portion of the sand bed, if not most, was anoxic. It didn't kill anything else, but it turned into a sludge trap. The turtle grass in those pics came fom that tank and thrived in the conditions, though. It just didn't look very good at all. Fish, etc were unaffected, though.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amphiprion View Post
    Got some nice live rock with an amazing surprise to complete my collection:




    No big deal, right. Hey, it will only set me back a few months as far as letting my fish go.
    What are those and why are they setting you back?

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Floyd R Turbo View Post
    What are those and why are they setting you back?
    Cirolanid isopods. The kind I have not only feed on fish as a micropredator/parasite, they also readily consume any carrion available, compounding their extermination. I can't actually release my fish into the system without eliminating them, which takes a long, long time, unfortunately. I won't be adding anything that requires stable rock structure (many corals, etc.), either, since I have to shuffle the rocks around to catch both these isopods and any stray Aiptasia. I've been largely successful in eliminating Aiptasia, because of the small amount of particulate input into the system and using fire to kill any visible polyps on rocks. I'm not even attempting to use something like Aiptasia-X, since it never worked all that great for me in the past. I'd rather spend plenty of time eliminating all of these things ahead of time than have the tank overrun by them in the future. I'm hoping things will turn out better if I do.

  8. #8
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    Why not just nuke the rocks by soaking in Muriatic Acid? Kill those buggars off!

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    Would've defeated the purpose of getting live rock to begin with. I'm hoping to preserve at least some of the diversity that was already there. Soaking in acid would produce some crazy expensive base rock. It's not the easy way, bu I'm hoping for the best.

  10. #10
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    well it was worth a suggestion, but yes, you are right. Who sold you rock with isopods anyways? I would be talking to them!!

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