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Kitkat's CAD Lights 34g Mixed Reef

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    Posted: June 07 2016 at 9:29am
Hello!

I just moved to Utah about 2 months ago and started up my tank again.  I previously had this tank in Arizona where it was a mixed reef with sand bed.  At its peak I had some elegance coral, duncans, zoas, and a beautiful Maxima Clam.  I tore it down to move here and gave away all my corals and fish.  So now its time to rebuild!  This time I'm going to try barebottom, as I've never done this before, and well, why not try something new?  I'm also going for a bonsai-esque theme, so we'll see how that goes.  

Tank: CAD Lightss 34g
Lights:  Reef Breeders Photon 24
Flow:  MP10, stock return pump
Skimmer: AquaMaxx WS-1
Filtration:  InTank Media basket with filter floss, chemipure blue, and 3"x4"x8" marine pure block.  Also have a IM minimax reactor with biopellets.



CAD Lights 34g Mixed Reef
http://www.aquaticlog.com/aquariums/kitkat/1
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kitkat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 07 2016 at 9:35am
Starting photo of the empty tank on day 1


Since I've added some zoas, xenia, other softies, hammer, blasto. Here's a more current photo.


I used some zeobak to jumpstart the cycle early on and that's worked pretty well.  Numbers are all well in check.  Going to be checking them again today.  Some of my zoas have doubled in size in about 2 weeks.  Frogspawn is recovering well to some skeleton damage, which I unfortunately didn't see until I brought him home.  




Edited by kitkat - June 07 2016 at 10:05am
CAD Lights 34g Mixed Reef
http://www.aquaticlog.com/aquariums/kitkat/1
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kitkat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 07 2016 at 9:46am
Some closeups of my critters.  Most of these photos are within a few days of purchase. 


GSP #1


GSP #2


Red Blasto - accidentally crunched a corner of his skeleton pulling him off his plug, but he seems to be recovering ok.  Poor guy.


Zoas.  Bought them as 1 open zoa with a few closed heads.  They opened up to about 6 of them after a few days.  Now I have about 8.


Hammer.  You can't quite see the base of the skeleton where it receeded.  I didn't see this until I brought him home and dipped him, but I think it starting to grow back.


Clove/palm tree.  Also got a free ricordia no one noticed was there. Yay!


Blue Cespitularia.  Not sure what's going on with this guy.  He keeps closing up and splitting, but never quite opens up.  Some of the tips look like maybe they got nibbled by someone... not sure who yet.  
CAD Lights 34g Mixed Reef
http://www.aquaticlog.com/aquariums/kitkat/1
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Some of the critters.


ORA Spotcinctus Clownfish pair.  From LA DD.


White spotted filefish


Little Sexy Anemone shrimp.  He now lives in the GSP.  
CAD Lights 34g Mixed Reef
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Very unique, I love it! I have seen a lot of amazing barebottom tanks, mostly sps tanks. How long have you used biopellets? I have a fairly new 30g that I almost started using biopellets with but changed my mind. 

Any pics of your tank when it was setup in AZ?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hogie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 07 2016 at 11:56am
Nice! I too have a bare bottom tank and I love it! Did you make the bonsai tree?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kitkat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 07 2016 at 2:00pm
Originally posted by BillyC BillyC wrote:

Very unique, I love it! I have seen a lot of amazing barebottom tanks, mostly sps tanks. How long have you used biopellets? I have a fairly new 30g that I almost started using biopellets with but changed my mind. 

Any pics of your tank when it was setup in AZ?


I've had the biopellets in since I put water in. My rational is that the biopellets will give food and a place to live to the zeobak. Whether that's true or not who knows, but I'd say if it wasn't tumbling there would be a mat of bacteria putty in there. Sometimes I have to take the tube out and shake it to break them up, so I know they're definitely colonized.

I'm not sure if I can successfully upload pics from my phone but I'll try...
CAD Lights 34g Mixed Reef
http://www.aquaticlog.com/aquariums/kitkat/1
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kitkat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 07 2016 at 2:02pm
Originally posted by Hogie Hogie wrote:

Nice! I too have a bare bottom tank and I love it! Did you make the bonsai tree?


Thank you! I did make it, with what is basically pvc clay. It was sort of a long process with a lot of soaking, but it was kind of fun to make. It looks kind of silly, but I'm hoping it looks better when it's covered in coral. I'm going to try to get zoas to grow up the "trunk" and put bigger show-ish corals on the platforms. And GSP along the bare bottom like grass. We'll see how it goes.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Krazie4Acans Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 07 2016 at 2:16pm
Nice setup.

I think I know who's picking at our Blue Cespitularia coral. He is kinda brown and is called a White spotted filefish. Very good chance that he is eating them. In fact I would say it's almost a 100% chance.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote bstuver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 07 2016 at 3:25pm
Nice I love the simplistic look I always want to do that but then end up wanting too many corals lol. I agree with krazie I bet it's the filefish
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kitkat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 08 2016 at 10:22am
Agreed.  ORA says they've never had theirs pick at coral.  But I'm not sure what they've been kept with.  My suspicion would be SPS or something that doesn't wave its tasty little bits about all tantalizingly.  I haven't seen him pick at anything except what I assume are little pods on the bottom of the tank or base of coral plugs.  I've never seen him pick at a polyp.  The other possibility is the sexy anemone shrimp, who I have seen sitting on the base of that coral.  I know they can pick at zoas, but thus far all of those are intact too.  So we'll see.  I'm really loving the whitespotted filefish (Skillet, we're calling him), so if I lose a cespitularia, oh well.  He doesn't seem to have gotten a flavor for coral, so as long as he doesn't destroy everything else he can stay.
CAD Lights 34g Mixed Reef
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jdinchak Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 08 2016 at 10:37am
In regards to the Blue Cespitularia - mine constantly did that, close up, then throw down what almost looked like a hammer and then split.  It grew like crazy and then really opened up.  To me thats a good sign!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kitkat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 08 2016 at 10:39am
Originally posted by bstuver bstuver wrote:

Nice I love the simplistic look I always want to do that but then end up wanting too many corals lol. I agree with krazie I bet it's the filefish

Yes, I'm definitely on board with the wanting too many corals thing.  Fortunately, as long as I buy small, I can actually pack a bunch in there.  In 6 months it might be a war zone over space, but oh well.  I can always make another structure or throw in a frag rack or something if I get really desperate.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kitkat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 08 2016 at 7:21pm
Originally posted by jdinchak jdinchak wrote:

In regards to the Blue Cespitularia - mine constantly did that, close up, then throw down what almost looked like a hammer and then split.  It grew like crazy and then really opened up.  To me thats a good sign!

Thanks for the info! I hope it really is a good sign and it grows like yours did.  I haven't noticed any new heads missing.  The other possibility is that the tank got to 84 degrees briefly yesterday.  I convinced my SO that it was cheaper to turn up the AC for a week than buy a chiller, so we're back down to a reasonable temp again.  So maybe that fried the little tips getting too hot?  Or too hot too sudden?  I can only hope.  Be good little filefish, be good!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jdinchak Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 09 2016 at 9:47am

With all the pets I have with special temp needs I find it easier to just have the house adjusted then trying other methods.  Plus the electricity you use for the chiller doesn't benefit you at all, they are also loud and can blow heat out.  Why not cool entire place and enjoy it. 

I have also found having a fan blowing across the top of the tank and or sump goes a long way in cooling.  It does cause some more evap but it helps to cool it and move the heat from lights out too. You can do that pretty inexpensive as well.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kitkat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 09 2016 at 3:15pm
Some pics from today.  GSP has been pretty happy lately.

Hammer with a sad looking flower pot I bought on a whim because the SO liked it.  I've never had any luck with flower pots. But this is only Day #3 for that little guy, so I guess he can still be mad for awhile longer yet.  Hammer eats like a pig.






My sad sad cespitularia with its nibbled tips.  Somehow I think its almost doubled in size since I bought it a few weeks ago.  I don't quite understand how that could happen considering how unhappy it seems multiple times a day.


And last but not least a really terrible photo of the crew.  Here they are all swimming together.  Sometimes I see the male swim up to the filefish and do his little submissive quivver to him.  I've also seen the female do what looks like nuzzling to the filefish.  It's very odd.  Female clown definitely dominates the male and picks on him, but I've never seen her do anything close to aggression to the much smaller filefish.  Nor do I see the filefish do much more than give them a look.  The filefish, Skillet as we have named him, does seem to be kind of clever though, we constantly see his little eyes looking around and inspecting things.  Clowns just seem like happy dumb dogs, which we do love them for too.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kitkat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 09 2016 at 4:20pm
So I JUST walked by the tank and managed to sort of sneak up and video some interesting behavior.  Every time I've seen a hint of this and approached the tank Skillet has dived for cover and I've missed it.  You can clearly see him see me as I approach, but then he seems to be ok with it and resume his picking.  He is nibbling on either tiny pods or some diatoms?  The only thing I can see is diatoms.  Maybe he's just picking for the sake of picking.  I'd say he's the culprit for sure on picking on the cespitularia.  How odd.  

Liveaquaria says "Whitespotted Pygmy Filefish readily accept a variety of foods, including frozen and pelleted diets. ORA maintains a small group of them in a tank with hard and soft corals and didn't observe any nipping, suggesting they fishes may be reef safe."  I wonder if they also eat some algae in the wild?  Mine seems to be picking at literally everything.



I can't seem to get the video to work on my end, but here's the link https://youtu.be/BnENxBeDzIA


Edited by kitkat - June 09 2016 at 4:25pm
CAD Lights 34g Mixed Reef
http://www.aquaticlog.com/aquariums/kitkat/1
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