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Liz's 10 going on 20L reef build


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Happy Sunday ya'll!

There's a bunch of live sales going on today and what better way to keep me from dropping more money than I have then to upgrade my 10Gal nano to a 20 Long?!

Well...ok still expensive >.<

So far my upgrade has cost

$30 20L tank from petsmart

$130 for this new Fluval Sea Marine & Reef LED 2.0 Aquarium Light. No idea if i'll even like it, not many reviews out. Supposedly I can control it with an app through wifi which I totally dig. If it doesn't work out, that's what return policies are for wink.png

$15 on 10 Gallons of FRAKIN saltwater. I am planning on an RODI system soon if anyone has any suggestions/help/I dunno what I'm frikkin doing)

$12 Moonies Burgers for a break

You can skip this next part and go to the pictures if you wish. This is to remind me how much of a PITA this was and for future reference if I do this again so I know where I can improve.

1: Scooted the old tank out of the spot it was in and placed the new tank.

2: Put in the extra sand in from when I started the 10 gal a few mos ago.

3: Put in 5 gallons of saltwater.

4: Placed a heater in to get the temp to match the old tank. Realize the 50W heater was doing a poop job, stole a 150W heater from my discus tank, and all was well (probably will replace w/ a 100W) put in the WP10 to get the water moving so there's not cold/hot spots.

5: Removed old tank water to new tank to the point where the top of live rock was exposed, moved the rock into the new tank, moved water, moved rock, moved water until all the rocks were in the new tank and always submerged. Why all this? Because I only had 1 jug for saltwater because I am a dork.

6: Put all mushrooms, zoa bits, and frags in a couple glasses and in the new tank for placement later

7: Realize that the one rock with Aiptasia on it is where your new RBTA decided it wanted to live. Pull rock out. Attack aiptasia with kitchen shears, dip and shake off inected area with saltwater, freak out that you killed the rbta cause you've never seen a nem out of water before, place in new tank.

8: Water is so cloudy you don't even worry about aquascaping.

9: Move snails over.

10: Catch Thor (clown). He plays dead in net and won't swim out for 5 seconds. Freak out. He gets up and swims happily away. Catch Firestar (clown) put in new tank.

11: Move HOB fuge. Remind me to NOT turn this on unless the water level is high enough *smh* WAY too much flow. Sand everywhere.

At this point I realized that the old tank STINKS like dead ocean. I leave to get a refill of saltwater, grab a burger, take a break, and rant about my adventure! I took a picture of the giant mess I have made because even when you grow up it is fun to be messy biggrin.png I say that now but I have to clean it up later...

Pic 1= Giant mess I made

Pic 2= Everything in the new tank

Pic 3= the 10 Gal




Edited by emu1sive
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Small update! PICTURES! I have not aquascaped as of yet.

Unfortunately the corals look not too happy sad.png I'm about to check params if anyone doesn't mind sticking around to see what's up and maybe offer advice.

I included the giant wall to show my progress in cleaning up the giant mess I made biggrin.png

Edit: Found what's wrong. The temp was too high :((((((( Heater off and we'll go from there.


Edited by emu1sive
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Yay you can see in now. The corals will be unhappy just because they were moved around. I wouldn't worry just yet, but checking the params is probably good.

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My opinion is it's better to make them mad once and get it over than keep upsetting them moving them around a bunch. I'd do it tonight.

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Alright ya'll. Just got done moving the rocks around how i might want them. Critiques are most welcome! I am trying to replicate a small slice of a natural reef with lots of negative space.

Totally took a hammer to one of the pieces of live rock. BEST EXPERIENCE EVER!

Please ignore the mass of corals at the bottom. Circled is the actual rock work.



Edited by emu1sive
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I think you did great with the 5/3 ratio or in this case, 3/5. It looks like there's room to clean behind the rocks which is nice and will prevent it from getting all nasty along the wall.

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Loved waking up to the cloudiness gone down.

Everything in the sanded will be attached to the rocks tonight.

Totally made sure the magfloat will have enough room so that I can keep all the glass clean. I'm a bit OCD about the glass...


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This is a layout of where I think I will place everything tonight. Please let me know if you have any feedback on placement being too high or low for a coral's light preferences.

In addition, I have an hob aq 70 on the back and a wp10 for flow and am not sure where to put them!

Also, I will be putting the new lighting on (fluval sea marine and reef 2.0) on tonight. It is a bit more powerful than the marine orbit I have currently. Should I wait to mount the higher up corals closer to the light and leave them on the sandbed to avoid bleaching?

Yours noobly,



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I think the plan works well for placement as you have the higher light loving corals up top and the lower light loving corals down low. It's nice that you gave GSP it's own corner too!

If you are switching the lights, I would heed your own advice and just leave everything on the sand and let them acclimate before moving anything permanently to the rocks.

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After the move I lost all my birdsnest pieces. The largest one is hanging in there, the rest bleached out completely bye.gif sorry Ty that included the gorgeous teal frags you gave me.

Not sure if it was lighting, water chem, or what. Honestly everything was pretty PO'd after the move but are looking good now :D

I am having trouble with Alk being low according to API. Boooo. Gonna try dosing but I think I want a more accurate test before doing so.

Was looking to upgrade the lighting but thinking about it now since everything is doing well I think I will leave it be for a bit.

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  • 2 weeks later...


Just got back from picking up a couple things from Ty! Got a green fungia plate, and a purple..purple...something *facepalm* im tired lol.

Plate just started wavin it's tentacles bout. PARTY IN THE TANK!

Just FYI, when he says, "cupcake," sized he means the BIG cupcake size.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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