View Full Version : fishymommy's 20g reef

07-15-2009, 02:33 AM
So, since I'm really excited about starting my first reef and I love posting on here, I figured I would start my own journal. Like the title says, I'm building a 20g Long mini reef for both fish and peaceful corals. So far, I have 20-25 lbs of live rock, a 1-1.5in sandbed, BakPak 60g reef ready skimmer, and Sundial T5HO 10,000k/actinic/lunar Current USA light. I'm already stocked with fish, which probably wasn't the best for a beginner but I didn't know better. I have two different types of clown fish, both with three white stripes but one whose middle stripe doesn't meet in the middle, my male named Bennie. The other has a solid white stripe going all the way down (top to bottom). She's my female, Cora. I also have a cleaner shrimp named Kratos, God of MOAR, and peppermint shrimp named Athena. No name for my emerald mithrax crab (except for crabbie haha) yet. My CUC consists of 6ish blue legged hermies, 2 semi-dumb margarita snails (they fall off things a lot and haven't moved for a while...), two other aestria snails (tall points shells about an inch tall and wide.. any ideas?), and one nessarius snail. I need a couple more nessarius snails and that should be good I think.

Any tips so far? Any idea what the names of the two different types of clowns are? What could my pointy snail be? Any ideas why my margarita snails are sorta stupid?? haha

Thanks for listening,

I'll try to post pics soon.


07-15-2009, 04:10 AM
Souds good fishymommy, good luck!

07-15-2009, 11:53 PM
Thanks! I hope it goes well

07-18-2009, 06:08 PM
So, as promised, here are a couple pictures. These were taken about a week after I got everything setup and running. Now its about 5 weeks old but I haven't gotten any new pictures yet. A full tank shot and a pic of my two clowns checking out their reflections.

07-18-2009, 06:10 PM
Very nice tank!

07-18-2009, 06:14 PM
yay! Thank you! I was just trying to research what specific types of clownfish my two are.. Does this sound right? Could the larger one with the solid stripes be an Ocellaris clownfish and the smaller with the 'broken' stripe be a Misbar Ocellaris clownfish?

07-18-2009, 06:41 PM
That tank is stunning!!!thumbs2:

07-18-2009, 07:33 PM
Wow, thank you :o) I must be doing something right haha

08-04-2009, 01:52 AM
Just an update. I finished building up my clean up crew and now have:

2 astraea snails
4 nassarius snails
cleaner shrimp
peppermint shrimp

I also bought 6 blue legged hermies but.. I'm not sure how many are left after their civil wars so I think only one or two are left.

Other than that, my algae and cyano is starting to let up some. Also, I got a phosphate reactor so now phosphates are down to 0.

I've been having trouble keeping my pH stable. It took a divebomb a few days ago from 8.8 to 7.9 but now its back up to 8.8. What is a good product for raising my buffer capacity?

08-05-2009, 07:47 PM
Nature, is a good way to keep the pH stable. Just let the tank stablize its NSW(natural sea water) levels by itself. Once that happens, it SHOULD keep a steady pH. If not, you will probably have to dose kalkwasser to keep it up.

As for the hermits, they'll fight for the shells, usually for that reason. I've had my scarlet kill 1 other scarlet, 2 blue legs, and an astrea for the shells. He's finally found a shell he likes. So, I haven't had any more fight related deaths lately. It you throw in some empty shells, that will reduce the chance of them fighting each other.

08-07-2009, 02:02 AM
It seems that my main issue is my RO water's pH. My tank has enough buffer to eventually bring it back up to 8.8 but the RO water must be low enough that it makes it drop to 7.9. I haven't gotten around to testing its pH yet since I ran out and need to get more. Is this a common occurance? How do I raise it before adding to my tank?

I've had people suggest adding tap water but my tap pH is even lower so that won't help at all. Any other suggestions?

08-07-2009, 02:18 AM
I'd question if your buffer is sufficient. I use RO/DI water and the water out of my tap is only 6.4 and I have no pH issues.

08-07-2009, 03:41 PM
That makes sense then. How do I measure my buffer capacity of my water?

08-07-2009, 04:19 PM
What is your alkalinity? That will show how good your buffer is. Also, what is your SG? 7.9 is an ok ph to be at as long as its stable. That is what mine is at and everything is doing great. Both hard and soft coral are growing great

08-08-2009, 01:40 AM
How do I test the alkalinity??? If that is the carbonate hardness (don't tease too hard if I'm being dumb haha), then my level had been 11dKH for about 1.5 months and now is 10dKH. My SG sadly varies a lot depending upon the time of the week. During these few summer months, I can't be home as much as I thought I was going to be so it ranges from 1.026 after a wc to 1.024 right before I do one (after a week). Is this a very big contrast? Some weeks its 1.025 after a wc so there's only the one point difference.

My pH also depends upon the time of the week I guess.. It only dropped that one time, after I did a wc using some RO water I had stored in a culligan blue jug for about 2 weeks. It dropped form 8.8 to 7.9 and slowly rose back up to 8.8 again. As of a water test about a week ago, it was still 8.8. I just did a wc a few minutes ago so have to wait for another test. I'll watch to see if the RO makes it drop again.

So, any thoughts?

08-11-2009, 01:31 AM
After what seems life forever, my corals are finally coming around! The xenia and kenya tree had been POed for the past three weeks, refusing to pulse or stretch out, they both had looked dark purple and feeble. Now finally both of my kenya branches are stretched and open while my xenia is pulsing pretty regularly! Still not as happy and healthy as before their episode but greatly improved!! YAY!!

I'll be sure to post pics as soon as I find my camera haha

08-24-2009, 02:19 AM
Yay! My move to college was successful! A huge pain in the butt but everyone made it through the trip without any problems. Its nice to be able to sit here at my desk now and look over at the fishes!! Woot!!

I'm sorry I've been lame about posting pictures. I'll try to as soon as I can!

08-24-2009, 02:46 AM
nice tank! i hope it goes good! thumbs2:

09-16-2009, 01:03 AM
Hello everyone! Its been a while but I finally managed to get some new pictures!! A lot has changed since my last post so here's the current setup:

2 clownfish
1 cleaner shrimp
1 peppermint shrimp
4 astraea snails
5 nassarius snails
1 emerald crab
2 (1 reproduced) pusling xenia
2 (1 reproduced) kenya tree
1... coral..

The first picture is of my new coral. My lfs had a tank of tiny SPS frags for$14.50 each so with my employee discount I got it for around $8-9. I figured this would be a good way to test how well my lighting works. It is a pale greenish color with small pink/purple polyps. Any ideas as to what species??

The second picture is a full tank shot, the third is my two clowns, the fourth is my cleaner shrimp.

09-16-2009, 01:27 AM
Beautiful tank and critters.

09-16-2009, 02:25 AM
Yay, thank you very much :) For a newb its not going to bad so far :) I am very happy with it. I love my fishes :D