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Derek's 225g - Stressing over Anemones

SepToob

Supporting Member
This tank was started as a reboot in May 2023. Previous tank was 1yr old, and experienced a nasty dino/bacterial crash a couple months after a tank upgrade earlier this year (https://bareefers.org/forum/threads...ed-dino-lyngbya-tank-crash.33717/#post-482310). It was a mixture of some kind of amphidinium dino and lyngbya bacteria that pretty much wiped everything out despite my best efforts.

I used live rock from TBS this time, and it's like an entirely new hobby vs starting with dry rock. Things have been going well now for 3 months so I decided to start another journal! Fish all survived the crash, along with a handful of corals. I've added mostly cheap, basic corals from Kenny, AC, and a couple local reefers.

The stand is 80/20 from framing tech. Pretty good price and they were great to work with. The thing is incredibly robust:

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The tank is 72" x 30" x 24" from Advanced Acrylics, with a pretty hefty eurobrace:

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I really liked the look of the ceiling mounted kessils at Neptune, so I tried to emulate something similar. I mounted 3x a500x pretty high above the tank using locline:

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They're at the height where the 35deg reflectors land the edge of the beam right at the tanks edge, really minimizing light spill. It also means you don't get glare in your eyes when viewing the tank, even while sitting!

I used a 60" bashsea sump:

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In retrospect, I should have saved a bunch of money and just used a 40 breeder or something. The sump is unnecessarily large for the simple approach I'm using this time around, and I wish I had a little more space under the tank but it's not too bad.
 
Love the lighting strategy, I might try to copy you there.

How do you feel about going acrylic vs glass? This might be the dimensions I get. I am debating going taller. Did you consider it or was it a "stock" size?
 
Love the lighting strategy, I might try to copy you there.

How do you feel about going acrylic vs glass? This might be the dimensions I get. I am debating going taller. Did you consider it or was it a "stock" size?

Thanks - there are a lot of advantages. It keeps clutter away from above the tank, I can point them at things (the one on the left is pointed at my magnifica), and there's plenty of PAR. I get around 350 in the middle at the top now and the center light is only at ~50%, the side lights get to about 70% which creates really nice varying zones of light for different corals.

As far as acrylic - I'm still torn. It's nice being able to move the tank with two people, the strength offers a lot of peace of mind (my first Red Sea glass tank leaked around the bulkheads). Keeping it clean, especially such a large peninsula, is a pain. It scratches easily. I've avoided any major scratches but there are certainly micro scratches everywhere. Only visible when viewed at just the right angle, but still...

I specified the size. If anything, I'd go another couple inches shallower. I am 6'3" tall, and the 24" depth is still a pain in the ass even with my long arms. I'd probably do 22" on my next tank or even 20". The 30" width, however, is just about perfect IMO.
 
Tell me about your simple approach this time around.

All I'm using on this system is a skimmer and kalk reactor (the Avast one, it has been great so far). I am not using any mechanical filtration, although I have a Clarisea I can bypass the normal drain if I want to clean up a mess after a water change, for example. I'm not dosing anything yet beyond just kalk. I do a 20% water change every 2-3 weeks. I plan to eventually supplement with AFR once the kalk can't keep up.

I haven't messed with flow or lighting since initial set up, I never added any bacteria or trace elements or anything else. I throw a bag of carbon into the sump occasionally.

With my prior tank(s) I was dosing bacteria, trying different filtration regimes, used chemiclean, various things in reactors, trace elements, chaeto, etc etc. I am a researcher and a tinkerer and I think I needed to go through a period of exploring all that to settle back at a very simple baseline. I think starting with live rock helped a lot too...

EDIT - I am also using a UV (undersized @ 25watt for 225g) which I plumbed in mostly because battling dinos left me so traumatized I decided to just run UV from Day 1.
 
Thanks. I got far too complicated (trying everything) on my last tanks. I also want to go simple on my reboot. I was thinking Calcium Reactor, but a Kalk reactor is even simpler and plenty for my needs eventually.
 
Glad to see you reboot it. It was so nice already when I saw it in person. Awesome dimensions and I miss having eurobrace. I’ve seen WWC use Mr. Clean magic erasers sandwiched between a magnet cleaner to avoid scratches. Nice setup with the A500x as well!
 
Glad to see you reboot it. It was so nice already when I saw it in person. Awesome dimensions and I miss having eurobrace. I’ve seen WWC use Mr. Clean magic erasers sandwiched between a magnet cleaner to avoid scratches. Nice setup with the A500x as well!

Thanks man! Mr. clean erasers do work well, the problem is always the tougher algae near the sandbed, metal scrapers always worked the best for that...

Thanks. I got far too complicated (trying everything) on my last tanks. I also want to go simple on my reboot. I was thinking Calcium Reactor, but a Kalk reactor is even simpler and plenty for my needs eventually.

I would highly recommend the ecotech versa + avast reactor. It sucks water straight from the ATO so there's no pump to get eventually destroyed by kalk. The versa is a great, quiet, precise doser too although I'm sure others work well too.
 
Keeping it simple with the old Berlin method! Any interesting hitchhikers from Tampa?

Scratch removal kits will be your friend since you will hit the side by accident at some point. But one thing you can do is use Dobie pads (you can wrap them around a magnet cleaner for the harder to reach areas.

Also use old credit cards for the sand line. If you get that insanely tough species of coralline algae, you can use a blunt butter/cheese knife (seriously the only thing that works) and press on the coralline edge until it cracks then scrape it off with a credit card. You might scratch a tiny bit, but if it's below the sand you won't notice.

The hardest part is just making sure the coralline doesn't get a foothold.

If you want to cheat on the section that hits your wall and overflow and isn't easy to reach, you can use the old public aquarium trick of having blue or black plastic sheets that you affix with magnets to the wall of the tank, then take out to soak in citric acid to clean once a month.
 
If you want to cheat on the section that hits your wall and overflow and isn't easy to reach, you can use the old public aquarium trick of having blue or black plastic sheets that you affix with magnets to the wall of the tank, then take out to soak in citric acid to clean once a month.

Any pics or references on that? I've always thought it'd be cool if a tank had a removable layer ala race car driver helmet lenses, though I have no idea how to practically do such a thing. Something you just peel off occasionally and have a clear, scratch free, tank.
 
Great reboot. Tank's looking great. I have an acrylic tank too. I don't think there's any way to avoid micro scratches. It's definitely frustrating, even if I use Dobbie pads or Mr. Clean pads. If you look hard enough you'll see the micro scratches. I've only had acrylic tanks in the past 25 years of reefing and I agree that they're tough and very unlikely to leak; they'll also never chip.
I have the same dimensions you have, except mine is only 4 ft long. I think the ht and depth are perfect.
Best of luck with the reboot!
 
Any pics or references on that? I've always thought it'd be cool if a tank had a removable layer ala race car driver helmet lenses, though I have no idea how to practically do such a thing. Something you just peel off occasionally and have a clear, scratch free, tank.
I actually have 1/8" black acrylic sheet on the back side of the tank where the peninsula window ends. I just got it from amazon and stacked some rocks against it. In my case the intent isn't for removal but mostly because I didn't want to see the painted wall behind that section.
Keeping it simple with the old Berlin method! Any interesting hitchhikers from Tampa?

Scratch removal kits will be your friend since you will hit the side by accident at some point. But one thing you can do is use Dobie pads (you can wrap them around a magnet cleaner for the harder to reach areas.

Also use old credit cards for the sand line. If you get that insanely tough species of coralline algae, you can use a blunt butter/cheese knife (seriously the only thing that works) and press on the coralline edge until it cracks then scrape it off with a credit card. You might scratch a tiny bit, but if it's below the sand you won't notice.

The hardest part is just making sure the coralline doesn't get a foothold.

If you want to cheat on the section that hits your wall and overflow and isn't easy to reach, you can use the old public aquarium trick of having blue or black plastic sheets that you affix with magnets to the wall of the tank, then take out to soak in citric acid to clean once a month.
Thanks for the tips! I did get a bunch of black urchins that like to chew at the base of my sps frags, but they do good work otherwise. I also got a mantis shrimp that mostly minds his own business, although he's noisy. A lot of the flora died off, but many colorful sponges and such remain. I highly recommend rocks from TBS.
 
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Here's a shot of the tang gang. The PBT, whitetail, and captive bred purple are all from @under_water_ninja . The CB Yellow is Biota. I feel like I got lucky with my tangs, they've only been together a year or so, but get along great. The PBT is super mellow.

In this pic is also the yellow headed sleeper goby from @Darkxerox , and a juvenile CB Goldflake also biota.
 
Ever since I started this hobby I have wanted a magnifica. The low success rates with them always kept me away. Finally saw a healthy one locally from @Krak256 and added it to my DT a couple months ago, it seems to be doing great!

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The female clown moved into it within literally a few minutes (from a bta on the other side of the tank). Her mate followed full time a few days later.

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One top down shot. It’s mounted at the peak of this rock pile, with an a500x pointed at it. It still shifts around occasionally but seems to be settling in where it gets the most light.

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Ever since I started this hobby I have wanted a magnifica. The low success rates with them always kept me away. Finally saw a healthy one locally from @Krak256 and added it to my DT a couple months ago, it seems to be doing great!

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The female clown moved into it within literally a few minutes (from a bta on the other side of the tank). Her mate followed full time a few days later.

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One top down shot. It’s mounted at the peak of this rock pile, with an a500x pointed at it. It still shifts around occasionally but seems to be settling in where it gets the most light.

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How much PAR was and is it now getting? Always curious about how much they really needed.
 
How much PAR was and is it now getting? Always curious about how much they really needed.

I think the previous owner said around 400, though I don't recall. It gets about 325 in my tank, which I've slowly dialed up from 250ish. It tends to move towards the end of the rock with the highest PAR, so it may want even more light, though it seems pretty content lately.

I have read they can take a ton of light, but it's also not clear what symptoms you can expect to see if they aren't getting enough....? Maybe just slower growth? It'll be interesting to see how it does over time.
 
Interesting yeah if it's reaching it probably wants more. I remember the ones I've seen in public aquariums were under big metal halides with like 10k spectrum. Could always spot light it with a Kessil pendant or something.
 
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