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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Latest FTS (October 12, 2014)


=================Original Posting below==============​

Very excited to document my newest tank, a 8g reef.


I started off with this really nice looking bare bent glass aquarium. I love the rounded curved edges without any seams at the front that these tanks have.


I added a silver stripe around the bottom edge of the tank. It gives the tank a nicer look and covers the unsightly silicon seam along the bottom edge. Who wants to see that when looking at your filled tank. I used some silver gaffer tape, but you could also use marine striping tape for boats.

I wanted a nice contemporary design for this tank so in addition to the silver stripe on the tank itself, I built a nice looking cantilever stand for the tank. Used a piece of white replacement bookshelf from Home Depot that I cut and painted flat black with some Tremclad outdoor paint and I got the square base from the local Ikea's 'As Is' section. I love how it turned out.

Added enough CaribSea sand just to cover the bare bottom of the tank. I always avoid deeper sand bottoms in small reef tanks as they become a trap for waste matter. The biology of deep sand beds only work on large reef tanks.

It took me a couple of months to find the right coral base rockwork for this tank which will be two islands.


One is a really nice layered plate like piece with really nice curves and it has tons of shelves on it. This is going to be perfect for various acans that I have planned for this piece.


The other piece which I call 'mushroom island', because it looks like a mushroom cloud from an atomic explosion I created by gluing two pieces of rock together. I wanted a narrow vertical base with a top that looked interesting and could support a variety of different corals on it. It's got three nice sections on top including a large flat piece in the right, a walled middle section and a lower tiered shelf on the left.


As it was just a bare tank, it did not have any top. I never run small tanks without a top because it really helps control salinity changes from evaporation. I got these really nice tank cover clips on ebay for $8 for the set and I got my local glass and mirror shop to cut me a top and they rounded the edges on their grinder for me as well.


The design philosophy that I use with my reef tanks is the balance of positive space with negative space to make the tank look a lot bigger than it is and a sense of perspective. This also makes the tank more interesting to look at than the typical philosophy of a continuous rock wall with a tank jam packed with corals from end to end.

Flow and filtration will be from a AC50 running foam and carbon.


Just filled and ready to go. I used about 30% water from my 50g reef and I use Seachem Stability for my new tanks which helps minimize any cycle.


Lighting for now is a old ecoxotic PAR38 12,000K LED bulb (3-6500K White 2-455nm Blue) that I had lying around in a $22 Staples desk lamp with the reflector removed. I love these staples lamp arms for their versatility and I much prefer them over goosenecks as when I'm working on the tank, I can just swing the lamp out of the way without effecting its precise alignment. The bulb had narrow 40 degree optics so I had to remove the entire faceplate and optics and am running the bulb with exposed bare leds in order to get proper coverage over the tank. I'll eventually get a full spectrum Par38 bulb with 90 degree or 120 degree optics.

Excited to see where this tank goes over time as it follows in the footstep of my current 5.5g Reef Islands. Now I have both tanks at each corner of my desk to enjoy when I'm working on my laptop.
 

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This is a amazing start to a beautiful tank. I love how you have really thought it out and the rock work is awesome. I can't wait to see what goes inside of this
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Picked up this beautiful dendros for the new tank.


Being a non-photosynthetic coral it does not need any light and in the wild is found in caves, including walls and ceilings. I'm going to simulate that kind of environment by gluing it vertically to the mushroom cloud islands vertical base. For now its chilling and getting fat being spot fed twice a week in my 5.5g Reef Islands tank while this tank cycles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yes the dendros is being sold locally by a LFS as 'fire cracker coral'.

You hardly see them here, so grab them while you can. Just hope that folks understand the special requirements of nps coral and how critical it is to spot feed every head. Definitely not a beginner coral.

Mega slow growing, unlike sun coral. I've had one for about 5 years now which has never developed any new heads.

I love dendros 10x better than their cousins the sun coral in my opinion. Dendros are voracious and easy to spot feed and stay open most of the time. It would be pretty impossible to keep a sun coral in such a small tank because they are a pretty messy eater with a lack-luster feeding response. With their sticky tentacles and instant feeding response its a lot easier to spot feed dendros without polluting your tank with uneaten food all over the place or having to use the upside down bowl method.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Time for my first tank update!

Now that the cycle is well done, tank is doing well, here is a FTS


Moved my dendros to its new home on Mushroom Island. I was originally going to glue him to the vertical base of the island about half way up, but my daughter likes this placement in a crevice on top better.


Have some worthy acan candidates for Acan Island. I removed them from the frag disks and they are just chilling in the tank getting used to the water chemistry and lighting for awhile before placement on Acan Island which is behind them.


Moved a couple of my micro-elegance into the tank as well. Their long tentacle extensions, mean that they are very happy. Notice the smaller one, it is really tiny, less than 10mm across and not even a mouth or full disk has developed yet.


Current inhabitants include a Banded Trochus snail, two Nassarius Snails (the larger Tonga variety) and two tiny blue-legged hermits (the only crabs I trust). The Banded Trochus is the ideal reef algea snail as they are able to upright themselves, do not die in the warm temperature of reef tanks unlike most of the cold water snails being unethically sold in the hobby and they love to graze on algea. The nassarius snails handle waste matter and leftover food particles. The blue-legged hermits are the only crabs that I have found which will not steal food from your corals or munch on them.

 

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Begineer, again
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I placed mine under the huge monti, and they are open than never. Put them on the right side of the right side rock, in the shade, and they will love it.
 

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firecracker dendros!!!! Love em!!
Much better placement for them there, although you need to feed them. They're looking a bit hungry! I feed mine 3-4 times a week
I like the acan island as well, but it might fill up quick with little acans :)
 

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gallantly streaming
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nice tank!

I don't know too much about nanos, but im curious as to why you aren't making use of a sump. That is, to hide your equipment. In smaller tanks as compared to larger ones, the gaudy appearance of equipment is that much more apparent, don't you think?

I also doubt you have enough flow with that filter you've got.....unless that is modded? firecrackers looooove flow (random, not laminar)

you nano guys are a different breed, though....always pushing the limits :)

a buddy of mine (i think he's on here - corpusse) has a three year old 3g pico and it's just intense....always blown away when he posts pics of it

z
 
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