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Amp's 25g Cube Seagrass build REDUX

Discussion in 'Marine Reef Keeping' started by Amphiprion, May 24, 2010.

  1. Amphiprion

    Amphiprion Contain the Excitement...

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    Welp, as the the title suggests, I'm picking up the pieces of my previous 40g tank, which suffered loss after loss, with a new 25g cube, specializing in seagrasses and an anemone. Some planned details:

    --25g cube (18x18x18 in.)

    --15g sump (17x17x12 in.)--I'll be custom making this from acrylic.

    --250w 10000K HQI-only pendant (tank will be open-topped).

    --Eventual algal turf scrubber--I'm going to hold off on it initially, since I want to give the seagrass a chance to grow-in. A scrubber can easily outcompete the grass if I let it. I'm also considering simply cutting down the scrubber photoperiod, which may be a better option. I had lots of success with one on my 40, so I'll continue using one.

    --Mag 7 return (most of which will be devoted to scrubber).

    --Spectrapure UPLC auto top-off module with 100% kalkwasser for top-off.

    That's it as far as the tank itself goes. Beyond what I listed, I'll just be using a bit of carbon running continuously in a passive manner.

    The goal for this tank is to make it as simple as possible, with minimal maintenance and minimal equipment. The most I suspect this tank will demand is a good amount of food input to keep enough nutrients for the seagrass to grow properly. Well, that and weekly scrubber cleanings, which are fairly quick. I would also eventually have to start pruning the seagrass. So, basically all-natural filtration, occasional water changes, heavy feeding, and heavy plant/algal growth are the primary themes here.

    However, I'm also planning on an anemone--likely one of the sand-dwelling species. These do get pretty darn large, but it would have the entire tank at its disposal. Plus, I can also control the size to one degree or another with feeding frequency--all, of course, without any harm to the animal. The seagrass bed would be a very natural setting for these particular anemones, too.

    So, for now, that's it. A natural tank that is as sturdy as I can make it in regards to water quality. Again, the only real challenge is the food input, which will have to be maintained at a fairly heavy pace, otherwise (oddly enough) pest algae and stunted plants will set in. It should also promote an ideal habitat for a dense population of other macro- and microorganisms, which should help in making this as natural and stable as possible. At any rate, I'm looking forward to it and sharing the experience with the folks at AC, since this kind of tank isn't terribly common and as it goes against many of the common themes you'll often hear in regard to aquaria.

    Pictures to come as I piece things together :D
     
  2. greech

    greech AC Moderators

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    Subscribed to this one for sure. Sounds like a lot of fun. Will there be any fish? Will the nem be of a hosting variety?
     
  3. Amphiprion

    Amphiprion Contain the Excitement...

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    I certainly hope it'll be fun. That's my intention, anyway.

    Yup, it will just have clownfishes. My little male died in this last crash, so for now, it'll just be my old female. I'll be getting a new male soon. It will be a hosting species--the challenging part will be keeping it small enough, though. I'll have to be careful with it to make sure it doesn't completely envelop the tank. I want to let the seagrass, etc. fill in before I add one, though. If it decides to go and cover up/dig up the few sprigs I have left, they won't make it.
     
  4. DoctaQ

    DoctaQ all your wheel are belong to us

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    the thread weve all been waiting for amph
     
  5. Sploke

    Sploke resident boozehound
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    looking forward to this build, as well as balancing out ATS filtration vs growing macro in the display.
     
  6. Amphiprion

    Amphiprion Contain the Excitement...

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    That's the main big unknown that concerns me. I'm just going to do what I can to make sure the seagrass grows well enough. I've also been busy getting together some old, detritus-rich sand and silt that should give the seagrass an edge, since they do obtain a lot of nutrition from the sediment. I'll probably make an online order for some mud (not "miracle mud" or the canned variety) to see if that helps any. In any case, the absurd amount of food I'll be able to flood the system with should be interesting, as well as the side-effects of doing so. I'll be curious to see what pops up or what would be possible to grow...
     
  7. Sploke

    Sploke resident boozehound
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    Yeah I was going to say, are the seagrasses more substrate feeders, or do they pull nutrition directly from the water column?

    As far as substrate, have you ever tried the GARF grunge? I guess thats more livesand starter culture?
     
  8. Amphiprion

    Amphiprion Contain the Excitement...

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    The only problem with it is that it is too coarse, at least IME. The best stuff I've found is the organic sludge that collects at the bottom of live rock holding tanks. The stuff is miraculous... and smelly.
     
  9. Amphiprion

    Amphiprion Contain the Excitement...

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    Luckily, I already have about 75% of what I need--which includes all necessary pumps, plumbing, stand, and live sand. I just need to buy some new live rock--the old stuff is going out the door. I've also already ordered everything else I need, which amounts to the 250w halide pendant and a simple HOB overflow. I opted for HOB, since the tank I bought was made with tempered glass. Plus, it should be a bit quieter than the typical drilled overflow (seeing as how this tank will be in my bedroom). All this, plus the fact that I need very little water return into the display led to my decision.

    Anyway, here is the pendant I decided on, which will have a 250w HQI XM 10000K. That was the highest PAR bulb I could find for a reasonable price:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  10. <3Oscar

    <3Oscar AC Members

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    Can't wait for photos!
     
  11. Amphiprion

    Amphiprion Contain the Excitement...

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    Dang, I had to rush things a bit. The livestock that was left out of the 40 started looking rough. I had just put the rock and sand in the 25 yesterday and had to move things over today. The good news is that I have enough saltwater stockpiled to change 300% of the tank and the rock is very well cured, but new. I also haven't received my overflow or halide lamp, yet, (nor is my sump complete) but livestock well-being took precedence in this case. So far, everything looks better, surprisingly, but a bit irritated. I ended up having to use the old ATS compact fluorescents @ 2700K. Makes the whole tank look yellow, but it is surprisingly bright. Pics of the ugly yellow will come tomorrow and hopefully some living livestock.
     
  12. greech

    greech AC Moderators

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    I hope everything fairs well from the transfer. I'm sure it will all work out for the better.
     
  13. Conski

    Conski AC Members

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    Amph! good to see a mod doing things on the site.. its been a little dry lately! this sounds awsome and cant wait to see the result! i hope you didnt spend over 200 on your light becuase i woudlve sold my 250watt sunpod to you for 200 shipped!
     
  14. Amphiprion

    Amphiprion Contain the Excitement...

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    Well, everything weathered the transfer just fine, thankfully. Not only that, but several things perked up quite nicely, too. Now I just have to wait until my lamp arrives.

    Conski, I appreciated the offer. This came with a brand new XM 10000K bulb for about $250, so it kinda balanced out for me. It would cost me at least $50 for a new lamp, anyway.
     
  15. Amphiprion

    Amphiprion Contain the Excitement...

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    Well, pics as promised. Please, don't bask in the glory that is my tank all at once (lol). It may very well be too much to handle.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  16. dtd87

    dtd87 AC Members

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    you didn't lie about the yellow
     
  17. Amphiprion

    Amphiprion Contain the Excitement...

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    Makes you really want to use these 2700K lamps, huh?
     
  18. mlefessler

    mlefessler AC Members

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    How will you incorporate the turf scrubber once sea grass has been established?
     
  19. Amphiprion

    Amphiprion Contain the Excitement...

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    The plan is to initially set one up as usual, with the regular 18 hour photoperiod as a means to jump start growth. Once the screen fills in, I'll probably drop that to about 12-14 hours. I can adjust the photoperiod as needed in response to nutrient dynamics and the growth of the seagrass.
     
  20. Amphiprion

    Amphiprion Contain the Excitement...

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    Well, the seagrass is looking awfully rough. I'm hoping at least some of it will pull through. I get my halide tomorrow, but I won't be getting my overflow box until June 2nd. Long story on the latter part. FedEx suddenly calls me up and tells me that they've been leaving the package behind for over 4 days (not counting the weekend) and without an excuse. Somebody finally noticed it and instead used USPS to tender it to another FedEx facility, where I was informed that because of that, it would require at least another 4 business days in addition to the estimated delivery date--the USPS delivery didn't even take a DAY! They delivered the **** package in two hours, according to the tracking list, so why did they need to allot another 4 days for USPS to deliver? Are they just giving themselves as much leeway as possible or do they not want to deliver my package? I'd be glad to tell them to give it USPS for them to actually deliver it. Needless to say, it will have been 15 days (counting one weekend) since I ordered the thing by the time I receive it. A bit on the ridiculous side, if you ask me. My halide fixture, which came from further away and weighed 11 lbs made it to me in 1/3 of the time via UPS. FedEx will get a formal complaint, I assure you.
     

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