View Full Version : Hale's 30g Reef Tank

11-08-2008, 07:07 PM
This thread is the continuation of my old 10 and 15g reef tank from this thread http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aquariumforum/showthread.php?t=16998 . It is going to be fairly photo intense. So lets start with the specs and everything!

::Tank Specifications and Equipment::

30g bowfront aquarium
1x koralia 1 powerhead
1x koralia nano powerhead
Current Usa Sundial T-5 HO 96watt light
200 watt Stealth heater
AquaC Remora Skimmer
~20lbs of live rock with ~15lbs base rock waiting to be added

::Future Equipment::
I am going to be adding a 15 gallon high tank sump sometime in the future to make a large section of rubble rock and macro algae and a place to hide my heater and skimmer. Going out tonight to get a pair of koralia 2 powerheads to give me more flow in the tank. Right now the tank is bare bottom so I can remove any detrius from the system. I have some really fine white marine sand that i'm going to add at some point later.

::Live Stock::
1x Ocellaris clownfish
1x Skunk cleaner shrimp
unknown amount of astrea and cerith snails
2x chestnut turbo snails

1x colony of lime green polyps
1x colony of neon green polyps
1x colony of red polyps
1x colony of yellow polyps
1x colony of green star polyps
1x green ricordea
2x green fuzzy mushroom
2x reed mushroom
1x porite

::Future Livestock::
1x yellow watchmen goby
1x tiger pistol shrimp
1x pink birdsnest
1x BTA anemone when my tank rematures in a year or so and my friend has a small one available for me


Now for some pictures. I won't have any of the tank with livestock for a little while since I still need to make new saltwater to fill the last bit and get some sort of aquascape going. Right now it's just sort of a grouping of rocks and coral. Here are photos from the setup currently.

Here is the stand in my room a few nights ago. I usually don't like mass produced stands but this one is very solid and clean. I really like it a lot.

Here is another of the stand.

Here is the tank sitting empty on the floor a few nights ago.

Here is the stand with polystyrene foam added to the top that will sit under the tank to absorb any balance changes. I highly recommend adding foam under your tanks so there is a less chance the tank will crack. You can buy a giant 8' sheet for fairly cheap at Home Depot, Lowes, etc

11-08-2008, 07:07 PM
With some time spent taping the glass up with newspaper and a can of krylon fusion here is the tank with the back glass painted and dried. This was only one coat so i'm going to have to go back sometime later and add a second but it is pretty good right now. Painting is cheaper than those plastic laminate backgrounds and I think it looks much better.

Here is the tank viewed from the front with the newspaper and painters tape removed.

I lied in my previous post. Here are two quick shots of the tank right now with everything quickly moved from the 15 gallon tank. The eventual aquascape plan is with two mountains of liverock on each side of the tank. Still waiting on 10 gallons of seawater to heat up to add to the tank.

One more of the previous with a flash.

Thanks for looking, more updates to come!

11-08-2008, 07:34 PM
Wow very nice it is looking great already! Agreed on the stand it does look stronger than the common ones.

11-08-2008, 07:37 PM
looking good so far!! Hope everything goes well!

11-08-2008, 07:40 PM
Another awesome thread off to a great start! Can't wait for more, more, more!

11-08-2008, 08:30 PM
Nice setup! This will be fun to watch develop.

11-10-2008, 02:17 AM
Added one koralia 2 instead of two and it is giving me a very good amount of flow. Got my remora skimmer back in place on the tank and put the surface overfow on it, have a nice little scum layer going that should clear up soon. My ocellaris clown is ever the drama queen. Last night at feeding it would approach the sinking NLS pellets then turn away as if to say, "feed me? HAH I scoff at you!" This morning it would grab them in it's mouth then spit them out. This evening it finally ate a couple of pellets. I don't blame it for being a tad bit angry, it's entire home was changed. It was fun installing the surface overflow and koralia powerhead with the clown constantly biting my hand for invading "it's" space. Give a fish double the water volume and it wants the whole ocean :c11:. All the corals opened up fully except for the GSP which about half of the polyps opened so in a day or two it should be back to normal. Now time for some pics!

Here is the tank finally filled with water and all the equipment up and running.

How's this for level? Not bad given my uneven 1920's wood flooring.

Here is the lower portion right now, everyone having a little conference on how the clown should bite my hand later.

11-10-2008, 02:19 AM
Here is the shrimp all settled in, wandering around it's new rock work. It tends to stay in the back underneath the larger rocks.

I knew that big box of dry base rock I bought at the fish store months ago for pennies per pound would be useful one day. Here is the start of what will one day be the left mountain of the tank.

A few whacks with a hammer and the screwdriver and the rock begins to take on it's final shape. Shame I couldn't find my chisel would have been much faster. Wearing glasses is a must for flying debris, I would also recommend wearing some gloves as the rock surface can really thrash your bare flesh.

And the finished product waiting to get cleaned off and go into the tank. The larger broken off pieces will one day be in the sump as rubble.

11-10-2008, 02:19 AM

Another shot of the left mountain rock in the position it will have in the tank.

And another to get an idea of it's size.

Thanks for looking, more updates to come as they happen.

11-11-2008, 09:38 PM
Got a 30lb bag of sugar sized aragonite sand the other day. It's sitting on a shelf waiting to go into the tank later once I get the rockwork all how I want. Finally got around to completely draining the water and sand from the old 15gallon tank. Have also been scrambling to catch up on RO/DI water in my storage vat since I used about all of what I had to fill the new tank. My old micron and carbon block cartridges were in need of replacement in the RO filter so I changed those out and also finally installed the membrane flush kit that has been sitting in a box for weeks. The GSP opened up fully and all the corals are doing great. The green ricordea loked like it was splitting in two but it also did that when I first added it to the 15g so I think the stress of moving made it shrink up a bit. I also cleaned out the 10gallon quarantine tank because it had a ton of detritus built up along the bottom of the tank. Sucked all that out during a water change and put the rogue mushrooms in that tank back laying on a rock to try and get those to reattach. Then I got some pictures of the mushrooms in the QT enjoy!

Here is one shot of them, they kind of blend into the rock with their colors but you still get an idea of what they look like. They are a pinkish/purple base color with teal circles/strips and bumps on the surface.

Here is another shot from a different angle to see more of the top.

More updates to come thanks for taking a look!

11-11-2008, 10:27 PM
Nice mushrooms!

11-12-2008, 01:23 AM
Decided to do a little bit of aquascaping this evening. Corralled the extremely upset clown in a floating breeder box for a bit and got to work fast. I built the majority of the large liverock mountain that will be on the right side of the tank and added the piece of base rock that I chiseled the other night to be the left side. Still need to add some liverock to the top of the right side, i'm thinking of some branch rock that my LFS has but I haven't decided yet. Placed the red zoas and the ricordea onto the right and put the GSP rock in front by itself so it doesn't spread over. It is already encrusting onto the rock nicely and adding new polyps seemingly everyday. The other corals are just kind of sitting around on the other side of the tank right now. I'm thinking about doing a zoa garden on the bottom and having the mushrooms all over the right side. Anyway enough chatting time for more pictures.

Here is the tank currently. Excuse the blurryness, I dosed some purple-up before this and the actinic is really strong in my camera. Can you spot the shrimp poking it's head out just slightly?

Here is another shot from farther back to see the entire tank. The skunk cleaner shrimp has fallen in love with the right side crawling all over. There are spaces all over inside of the rocks and it pops it's head out of one spot then disappears to reappear in another spot. The clown really doesn't know what to make of this. It's home has been drastically changed twice in the past few days, but it has been hanging around the left side behind the spire rock. One day there will be an anemone there for it :c3:.

Here is another full tank shot with the actinic lights off to show some of the color. Next water change i'm going to suck all the old sand and detritus that is on the bottom of the tank. Then build a pvc stand and ziptie the spire rock so that it can't fall over when I add the pistol shrimp and watchmen goby later when they go tunneling around the tank.

11-12-2008, 01:24 AM

Here is the left side of the tank. Focal point being the rock spire and the corals just hanging around. I think i'm going to have the zoa garden around this rock.

Here is the right side of the tank dominated by the liverock mountain. Looking to put one more piece of liverock on the top, sort of like a pyramid shape to cap the mountain. Or I was thinking of getting branch rock and bridging the two sides kind of like the idea I was running with in the old 15 gallon nano. This side is going to be dominated by mushrooms and the GSP rock in front on it's own little separate island.

Again I hope you've enjoyed the pictures and thanks for reading. Any input is very appreciated. More updates to come as they happen!

11-13-2008, 09:30 PM
Looks good! Wouldn't adding the base rock right to the tank cause an ammonia spike when it starts to cure?

11-14-2008, 03:54 AM
Looks good! Wouldn't adding the base rock right to the tank cause an ammonia spike when it starts to cure?

If the base rock was completely dry before adding it to the tank, it won't have anything on it dying to cause an ammonia spike. Good looking tank so far. :)

11-14-2008, 04:52 PM
Tanks looking great

11-14-2008, 09:06 PM
If the base rock was completely dry before adding it to the tank, it won't have anything on it dying to cause an ammonia spike. Good looking tank so far. :)

Oh ok thanks. Wasn't to sure.

11-15-2008, 07:58 AM
More great updates and pictures!

Can we please stop the subliminal messages though? "Come over to the dark side....come over to s/w" goes through my head every time I see these pictures LOL

11-15-2008, 04:15 PM
More great updates and pictures!

Can we please stop the subliminal messages though? "Come over to the dark side....come over to s/w" goes through my head every time I see these pictures LOL

The subliminal messages will stop once you finally setup a SW tank. :27:

I probably missed this in the thread, but are you planning on staying bare bottom or going to put sand in eventually?

11-15-2008, 09:27 PM
Looks good! Wouldn't adding the base rock right to the tank cause an ammonia spike when it starts to cure?

Yes if the rock has been cured prior to coming out of water and switching tanks. The rock was bone dry for months in my closet so there isn't anything on it to die.

More great updates and pictures!

Can we please stop the subliminal messages though? "Come over to the dark side....come over to s/w" goes through my head every time I see these pictures LOL

Lol sorry for the current pictures. You are really going to be angry in a few weeks once when the tank starts to take on the final shape. You should just join the darkside, "I am your father!"

The subliminal messages will stop once you finally setup a SW tank. :27:

I probably missed this in the thread, but are you planning on staying bare bottom or going to put sand in eventually?

The tank is going to be bare bottom for awhile longer so I can remove all the old sand and detritus that came off the rock. After a couple more water changes i'm going to add a 2" layer of sugar sized sand and get a watchmen goby and pistol shrimp.

11-15-2008, 10:30 PM
Good looking tank :)

11-17-2008, 03:03 AM
Did a waterchange this afternoon and sucked out a lot of the detritus and old sand left from the 15gallon tank. Going to wait another month or two before I add any sand to the tank. Have some diatoms growing on the new koralia and the piece of baserock I added to the tank. Once the new rock gets some coralline algae grown on it I will add the sand as I don't want brown nasty sand all over. The clown was super pissed as I was moving the hose around the tank to suck out the sand. Was bitten atleast 3 dozen times, such a mean little fish. I cleaned all the glass and moved some of the corals around and decided to take some more pictures.

Here is a new full tank shot.

Here is a shot of the green polyps sitting on the left side of the tank.

Here is a shot of both of the two green polyps on the left side of the tank. The right colony has a yellow/green eye and much longer skirts.

Here is the red mushroom with it's tiny frag sitting on another rock. There is also the green bullseye mushroom with it's tiny frag sitting next to it. The encrusting porite colony didn't make the transition to the new tank. It bleached out and hasn't extended polyps for awhile but it might make a come back. These are all sitting in the middle of the tank front.

11-17-2008, 03:05 AM

Here are the red/orange polyps on the right side of the tank. Two of the polyps survived on the far side of the rock so it is making a come back. I think the water was just a tad bit warm in my old tank that's why it started to die back. I've lowered the temp to around 78-80 instead of 81-83 and it's been doing much better. Under actinic light the colony glows a bright neon orange but I can't figure out how to get my camera to take a picture of it. The lights drowned out any color.

Here is the ricordea rock with a red feather duster sitting near the middle up on the rock work. I turned the rock onto it's side so the mushroom is facing the light coming down perpendicular. It looks like it has finally split in two. I'm waiting for it to spread all over the rock and be a giant mass of ricordea but that will take some time.

Here is the green star polyp rock sitting front right side of the tank separate from everything else in the tank so it is contained on that rock alone. It has encrusted very quickly. You can't tell where the original frag was unless you pick up the whole rock. It has made probably 2-3 dozen new polyps since it was placed onto the rock. So in probably 1-2 months it should take over the entire rock. I'm thinking of trying to get it to encrusted onto the side of the glass like I saw at the fish store because it looked really cool to have an entire pane a moving green mass like a lawn. For now i'm happy with it contained where it is though.

Here are the yellow polyps in the center middle of the tank behind the red and green mushrooms. There is also another single green polyp with a gorgeous neon green eye on the left of the rock. It was closed in this photo but it is on the left near the top of the colony in this shot.

11-17-2008, 03:07 AM

Here is the skunk cleaner shrimp hanging around it's liverock mountain. It likes to hide in a crack between the middle of the rock work.

The clown fish was very upset because of me putting my hand into the tank so it wasn't in much of a mood to pose for pictures. Here was the best out I could manage.

I read a thread on another forum about a simple mod for my aquac remora skimmer to make it more silent. Here is that mod, all you do is fold up a paper towel to fit on top of the injection pipe and place it there beneath the collection cup. That reduced the noise by a good 95% although it never bothered me much sleeping 4 feet away. I'm going to take a piece of foam and cut it to fit in that space sometime soon.

Here is the skimming effluence that I got from about 4 days of skimming. I believe I was way over skimming on my 15gallon tank and it didn't produce very much, however once I put it onto the new tank I began to get a greater volume with a really rich deep brown color. This is with very little bioload I have in the tank. They are great skimmers I really enjoy them. This stuff smells probably worse then you can imagine by the photo. It really is a smell you have to experience firsthand.

Thanks for looking more updates to come as they happen!

11-17-2008, 12:25 PM
...This stuff smells probably worse then you can imagine by the photo. It really is a smell you have to experience firsthand.

You got that right, lol, skimmate reeks

11-17-2008, 09:54 PM
skimmate is horrible, a few days ago i accidentally got a bunch in my mouth

11-17-2008, 10:48 PM
skimmate is horrible, a few days ago i accidentally got a bunch in my mouth

lol how do you accidentally get it in your mouth? This video is for you cocoa.

11-17-2008, 10:59 PM
lol how do you accidentally get it in your mouth? This video is for you cocoa.

my skimmer doesnt have a input where you can attach hosing to drain the skimmate, and when its full its a pain to remove the cup so i usually just pull off the lid and siphon the skimmate with air tubing. i hit something behind me when i was siphoning and went to look at what i hit, and then came the skimmate. had a nice puking session after, my skimmate is darker than black coffee

12-01-2008, 11:01 PM
Quick little update it's been awhile and since the semester is running down I have little free time, only two weeks left! Everything in my tank has been going fine. The liverock spire has gotten green coralline algae all over it with some hints of red. Two small patches of cyano appeared, one on the bottom corner of the spire and the other in a small spot on a frag rock. The skunk shrimp had dozens of tiny green eggs the other day which looked really cool. It's a shame I couldn't breed some because I could make a small fortune off some around here. The porite coral started to extend some polyps some days ago so I think it's going to make it. It is still bleached but I expect it to make a recovery. The tank is still bare bottom right now but i'm going to add sand this weekend. There have been no new additions so far but that is going to change very soon. Tomorrow i'm going to the fish store to get some more snails. Going to be 2 chestnut turbos, 6 cerith, and 3 astrea. Also going to scope out some fish. If they have a good juvenile ocellaris clown i'm going to pick that up and try to pair it with mine. If I don't see a clown that catches my eye i'm going to look for a yellow watchman goby and tiger pistol shrimp and that pair will be my next purchase in a few weeks. I'll update again very soon.

12-02-2008, 07:38 PM
Got back from the fish store few hours ago. Went in after work and class and browsed for a little while. Was looking at a peacock mantis shrimp that they had, it was really cool. Looked at the only yellow watchman goby they had, i've seen better looking ones there before so I kept walking. They had a tiny tiger pistol shrimp that I thought about getting but I won't have sand in my tank till this weekend so I passed on it. Then I went to the back and saw it. The perfect juvenile ocellaris clown. The thing was tiny around 1/2-3/4" in length and really good coloration and pattern. They had this little guy separate from the other ones that were larger who would beat up on him. So I watched it for about 30 minutes. It was defending it's tiny GSP frag in the tank from a bicolor blenny that was in the tank with it. Asked what the s/g was in the tank and it was spot on with mine so I bagged it up and walked out with my new clown. Acclimation was a bit rough, it kind of freaked out in the bag but calmed down once I had it drip acclimating. Have the lights off and the clown in a guppy breeder trap with eggcrate to the top to prevent carpet surfing. Going to leave it in the breeder trap for a day and get it to eat some food then tomorrow night going to introduce it to the big female clown. Hoping all goes well and it should. I will get pics of the little guy sometime soon when I have the lights back on.

12-02-2008, 10:11 PM
Slowly turned the lights on, first in my room, then actinics, then the daylight lamps. Feed some frozen mysis shrimp and dropped a NLS pellet into the isolation container. Got the clown to eat a few bites of shrimp and nibble at the pellet. Also got a couple photos. They arn't the best as the clear side of the container is next to glass that I haven't cleaned so it's kind of blurry.

Here comes the baby clown. You can see the big mean one in the background.

Here is a front side photo that has the grate slits on the side of the isolation container.

Also did a little video using my camera that shows the size difference. This is the first time i've used the video recorder on it so be nice!
http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh166/halelorf/29%20Reef/th_reef1.jpg (http://s256.photobucket.com/albums/hh166/halelorf/29%20Reef/?action=view&current=reef1.flv)

Thanks for looking, more updates to come!

12-03-2008, 12:23 PM
Have you introduced them? That looks like the size difference between our 2 clowns, although I think our female is slightly larger. Ours hit it off immediately, and now you can separate them, although the juvie will occasionally wander away from their side of the tank to explore the other side, lol, but only for a second before its right by the females side again

12-03-2008, 11:12 PM
Woken up this morning and slowly tilted the isolation container to its side and the juvenile clown swam right out. The clowns met in the middle of the tank and hit it off fast. The female charged the juvy once and it turned to it's side then they were fine after that. Made a video of the two when they first met up and got some pictures from later this evening. The little clown already accepts NLS thera pellets, it ate about 3 tonight, so everything with him is great. Best fish ever! It's been following the female around the tank all day.

Here is the video of of the meeting.
http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh166/halelorf/Reef%20Video/th_Reef2.jpg (http://s256.photobucket.com/albums/hh166/halelorf/Reef%20Video/?action=view&current=Reef2.flv)

Here are some photos I took this evening. Sorry about the blue drowning out the photos but the daylight lamps turned off and I didn't feel like messing with the light to turn them back on.


The little clown likes to hide out inside the small dent in the left spire rock.

Here is a last one.

Thanks for looking more updates to come later.

12-11-2008, 09:29 PM
Small update. The juvenile clown has been eating like a pig. It will try to take NLS pellets but I have to leave them in a cup of water for a minute to soften up or it can't eat them very well. I moved my mushroom rock from the 10gallon quarantine tank over to the main tank finally. Also picked off a clump of macro algae from my yellow polyp rock and was about to throw it out when I saw there were a couple of yellow polyps on the algae so I put that in my QT to see if I can't get a colony of those going over in that tank. Sand has also been added so things are very cloudy that's why there are no pictures for this post, but they will be coming soon. Thanks for reading!

12-19-2008, 07:11 PM
Everything has been going great in my tank. The juvy clown has been living it up in the bigger space of my tank. Been eating frozen mysis for awhile and now i've got it eating marine NLS until it grows large enough to eat the slightly larger Thera+ pellets whole. The sandstorm died down and I really like the coral placement that I have going now so i'm leaving it for now. The yellow polyps I have will probably be moved as they grow super fast but everything else looks good where it is. I was at the LFS yesterday scoping out their stock. They had some really gorgeous pistol shrimp but I didn't see any yellow watchmen gobies so I passed on buying a shrimp till they get a goby instock. Had some cyano start growing on my koralia 2 and the left rock spire. Nothing major, I believe it is from the spire rock being dry baserock and adding phosphates or something extra to the water as my quarantine tank has the same baserock and it had a huge cyano outbreak which has gone done a great deal. Time for some updated pics!

Here is the current full tank shot.

Here is the juvenile clown swimming in the center of the tank just out of frame from the big female clown. He's a cute little guy.

Here is the pair of clowns together at the surface waiting to be fed. Sorry about the blurryness but it's hard to get one clown to stay still in frame let alone both.

12-19-2008, 07:12 PM

Here are some comparison shots.

Here is the rock spire when I first added it a few weeks back.

and here it is now.

Here is the right side of the tank with the rock mountain originally.

and here it is today.

Thanks for reading more updates to come!

01-23-2009, 03:55 PM
Been awhile since i've had time to update my tanks so I thought I would do that. The 30 reef has been doing great, corals are all growing and new polyps have been sprouting up near the mother colonies. Had some nasty cyano which I think was from the spire rock and the addition of my sand bed. Been running GFO and it has gone down considerably. Will probably been another month or two before it goes away to the point of my liking. Changed light bulbs to ATI and UVL T-5 lamps. Really good color from them. Been trying to get a good color balance with the new lamps and my camera but haven't been able to yet. Here are a few pictures.

Here are the love birds, the ocellaris pair. The tiny juvenile has grown a good deal and colored up nicely. It never leaves the big females side unless some food is dropping into the tank.


Here is the skunk cleaner shrimp. It is getting ready to molt soon. Will probably happen after this weekends water change.


Here is the right side of the tank with the coral mountain.


Finally here is a new full tank shot. Excuse the cyano, it was much worse than shown here. It was a deep scarlet red that covered the entire sand bed. Then spots turned a greenish color then kind of died away. Now you can actually see some sand again.


Thanks for viewing more updates to come!