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This blog is a chronological discussion of changes and updates to my Reef Tank.
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Still getting started at 6 months old

Posted 10/13/2015 at 11:44 AM by Olliesshop

Well, I figured it's time to start my Blog, after transitioning from my 125 gallon Freshwater tank. Here's many videos of the tank and the Cichlids I bred and raised, at my YouTube channel ... I've had Cichlid Freshwater aquariums for over 40 years ... yes that makes me old.

I got interested in Saltwater when I started culturing and breeding adult Brine Shrimp (, which was successful for months (to feed my Cichlids) until I added some live sand and live rock, which killed the colony. But I decided I really enjoy saltwater tanks vs. freshwater, so I've been gradually converting it into a Reef Tank ever since.

I started this small 20 gallon display tank in April, 2015. I then added an 18 gallon sump/refugium in the beginning of September, which has really helped my water parameters.

Here's some info. on the current state of the system:

Sea Life:
1 Ocellaris Clownfish - used to have 2, but one jumped. Planning on getting another one when I upgrade my tank.
1 Red Ruby Scooter Blenny - I really like this one
Pseudocorynactis caribbeorum - about 5 of these that have grown from spores.
2 red scarlet hermit crabs
Many nassarius snails
1 Astrae snail
1 baby Orange / Red - Chestnut Snails (Turbo castanea)
4 tunicates / sea squirts, 1 big one and 3 small ones
About 48 lbs of rock
- About 36.5 lbs. of Tufa Rock
- 3 Live Rocks (about 10 lbs) - 2 of them are from Florida
This shows what people have found on Tampa bay live rock

Corals - My guess of what they are
Grouping of 9 Palythoas
Cup coral #14 or Phyllangia americana - Non-photosynthetic stony corals. 2-3 of them on left Live Rock.
Favia or Acan coral maybe - small brown flattish one
Cladocora arbuscula (Tube coral) - Probably LPS coral on middle live rock. Maybe a Frogspawn or Torch coral
Cluster Dusters on middle live rock on side bottom right side

Reef Octopus MF300B media reactor with BRS Biopellets
Tunze 9004 Protein Skimmer
Kessil A160WE Tuna Blue and controller
Eshopps 800 Overflow box
GFO reactor I made
Danner SP-530 530 GPH return pump
2 CO2 Scrubbers. 1 for airlines that go into the refugium. The other for the air input line into the Tunze 9004 Protein Skimmer
RO Buddie - RO/DI system

My current water parameters:
Nitrate 0 (Lamotte)
kH 9, but starts turning color at 8 (API). Planning on getting a Salifert Alkalinity test kit, since most accurate?
pH 8.29 (Pinpoint monitor)
Salinity (1.0250) Refractor
Calcium 420 (API). Should I get a new test kit?
Phosphate 0.00 (Hanna)
Magnesium 1140 (Salifert)
Temp 77.16-78.29 last 24 hour cycle with calibrated thermometer

Hopefully there will be many updates to come.
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  1. New Comment
    Erics210's Avatar
    What do you have in the three plant pots?
    Posted 03/09/2016 at 12:32 AM by Erics210 Erics210 is offline
  2. New Comment
    Olliesshop's Avatar
    Thanks for the question and sorry the the late reply, I must have missed the notification ... opps!

    I have 3 Mangrove plants in the pots, which are down to 2 now. I put them in as part of my effort to reduce Nitrates, along with my Refugium. The two Mangroves are doing well now, since there are still Nitrates and Phosphates in the tank. The readings for Nitrates and Phosphates are both zero, though, which means the Algae, Mangroves and Refugium are eating them all up.

    Here's a couple pictures of what they look like today. BTW, I also just added a 8x8x4 block of Marinepure to the Refugium, which I'm hoping will help eliminate the unwanted algae in my Display Tank. I also just started Vodka dosing a week ago and that seems to be helping a little so far. I'm moving very cautiously with the dosing and hoping not to crash the system.

    Posted 04/01/2016 at 06:49 AM by Olliesshop Olliesshop is offline

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