View Full Version : labnjab's 29 gallon BTA propagation tank

07-29-2009, 04:52 PM
It is set in stone. We will be picking up a complete 29 gallon set-up before the week is over. It has all the equipment including skimmer, heater, powerheads, 250 watt metal halide with ballast and 2 bulbs that are under a month old, live rock and live sand.

The plans are to let it run for 6 months or more and then start adding bubble tip anemones as they naturally split for the main anemone in my display. Its going to be a long process but fun. If the anemone thing doesn't work out for some reason or if I change my mind its always nice to have another tank and I will just turn it into another reef that will probably be sps dominant due to the great lighting. I will also have a few fish in the tank and possibly a few SPS as well as the CUC. Future plans also include adding a sump. Once I get everything I will post some pictures. In the mean time I'm gonna have to start making some R/O and mixing some saltwater water so I have enough to fill it when I get it

08-07-2009, 11:25 AM
We got the setup, and for only $200. It had 50lbs of live sand and 25 pounds of live rock. Yesterday I picked up 10 lbs of base rock. So there's gonna be a total of 35 lbs of rock It only came with one koralia 1 powerhead so I ordered a koralia 2 last night. It also has a tunze nano skimmer. There are a lot of softies coral hitchhikers, like xenia and tons of cool looking zoas. While it is cycling I'm going to try and remove the xenia, but I will keep the zoas.

Its been running for 30 hours and seems to be doing good. The coral are open and the xenia are pulsing and the water has cleared up a lot. So far 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and 0 nitrate. I'm expecting some sort of a cycle as the rock wasn't completely submerged during transfer which took around 3 hrs so I'm sure there was some die-off. (the guy I bought it off of lived an hour and a half away) If I'm still reading 0 across the board by next week I'll start adding the CUC.

This is how the rock is currently stacked. It may change but I like it now. The water is a little cloudy

The halide, which is 8 inches over the tank and subject to change. Its a 250 watt 14000K double ended bulb. Its a little blue for my taste so I may change it to a 12000K in a few months.


The electronic ballast

and here are some of the zoas

The only thing that I've seen wrong are FLAT WORMS...I saw 5 or 6 on the glass last night so before I add any CUC or livestock I'm gonna buy some flatworm exit

08-07-2009, 04:40 PM
Looks like I got my first anemones, lol I found 3 majano's. At this point I'm going to leave them. It is going to be a anemone tank anyways. If they start to be a problem then I will remove them, but at this point their just too colorful to kill

cycle has began, ammonia is at 1. I'm hoping this tank will cycle as quick as our other reef did, which was less then a week

08-10-2009, 11:30 AM
Some good news this weekend, what I thought were flat worms turned out to be those snails with the very small shells. That saves me from adding flatworm exit. Luckily I didn't buy any. The cycle was finished as of the morning. It went much faster then I expected. If its still good by Wednesday I'm going to start adding the clean up crew as the diatom stage is in full bloom. The water is now crystal clear so I'll post some pics this afternoon

08-10-2009, 04:03 PM
Heres some more pics





08-10-2009, 08:27 PM
Nice collection of corals. I'm jealous :P

08-12-2009, 11:28 AM
Thank you tiger barb. I added 5 astrae snails and a hermit crab yesterday. The diatoms seems to be subsiding already. I tried something new by adding a small ball of chaeto to help with nutrients and to reduce the time the algae stages take to pass. Hopefully it will absorb most of the nutrients and keep the algae to a minimum. I'm also going to be working on getting rid of the zenia and those ugly brown clove polyps before they take over

08-14-2009, 04:38 PM
We ordered the 1st fish for the tank today. It won't be in until the end of the month, but we ordered a yellow watchman goby. Were gonna eventually pair it will a pistol shrimp. I know the risk in having YWG and pistol shrimps in a small tank, but I'm willing to take the risk. We've wanted this pair since we started the dark side, lol. I read about a few tricks on keeping the pistol shrimp in one area.

Once question, should we add a firefish before the goby, or will it be ok if we get it after?

08-15-2009, 12:24 AM
tank is looking good and good choice with the watchman they have great personalities and do a great job cleaning the sand. mine likes to build little mounds all over the place and then sit on top of them.

08-17-2009, 11:17 AM
Thank you milt. I've also found a store with a tiger pistol shrimp for only $20. I'm going to see if I can pay them now to hold it until I'm ready for it at the end of the month.

The tank is in the hair algae stage now. Its mostly growing on the glass and one of the pieces of live rock. This is where I wish I had a sump so I can drop a piece of pura pad to absorb phosphate and reduce the time the HA stage last. I do have a piece of chaeto in the display which really helped with the diatoms so I'm hoping it will do the same for the HA


I've ordered the CUC through a group buy locally. I'm going to be picking it up on the 29th. I ordered

5 more astreas
1 Emerald Crab
10 Blue Legged Hermits
5 Cerith Snails
5 Nassarius Snails
2 Brittle Stars- 1 for each tank

The order goes in tomorrow. Is there anything else I should add?

08-19-2009, 04:49 PM
Hair algae seems to be going away already. I'm doing a water change tomorrow so I will remove all that remains. This tank seems to be gliding through the algae stages much faster then our other tank. I think its because we've used home made RO from the start instead of the pre bottled stuff

08-19-2009, 11:49 PM
Tank is looking good! :22:

08-20-2009, 11:31 AM
Tank is looking good! :22:

Thank you. Once the hair algae goes away I will be picking up a few sps, hopefully next week. They will be a purple birdsnest and an Indigo Acropor. Both are very colorful. We'll be getting our CUC and watchman goby in on the 29th

08-24-2009, 11:14 AM
We picked up a Firefish goby on Friday. He seems to be doing good and eats like a pig. He is a little lazy and takes close to an hour to come out of hidding after the lights are turned on. The pics are lousy and don't do his colors justice but the halides make the colors look awesome in person




I'm setting up a qt tank this week because we will be picking up our yellow watchman goby on Saturday. Luckily the stand for this tank has room for a 10 gallon under it

08-31-2009, 11:09 AM
We picked up the cuc and a yellow watchman goby this weekend. We also picked up some new coral last week

Indigo Acropora


Purple Birdsnest


Both are doing great and and the colors look awesome

08-31-2009, 11:12 AM
Here's the pics of the very healthy and photogenic YWG




We ended up not qting him because it had already gone through a qt period before we bought him. So far it seems to get along great with the firefish and they even sometimes share the same hidehole

08-31-2009, 07:25 PM
very cool looking tank. i really like those ywg, so colorful, and this one seems to have a sweet personality

09-02-2009, 11:31 AM
Thank you. He does have a cool personality and has been hanging out with our brittle starfish

09-08-2009, 04:42 PM
Tank is now 6 weeks old. Things are doing great. I think the cheato is really helping because there hasn't been much algae growth. Coraline is starting to grow on the back glass and coral is growing extremely well, especially they sps. I've got a new tactic on killing the xenia and clove polyps. I've been placing the chaeto on top of them and will leave it there for a few weeks. Hopefully it will kill them and then I can move the ball to a new area.



Green slimer


Purple birdsnest after buying it


Purple birdsnest today, notice the new growth starting everywhere

09-08-2009, 04:46 PM
Elkhorn montipora


Firefly chalice


I may be picking up one of these for free this week http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3578+3579+13648&pcatid=13648 it has a small leak in a corner which should easily be repairable. It won't fit under the stand but I can build a stand beside the tank and put it to the side. Its roughly 25 gallons so it will make an awesome sump. Then all I need to buy is an overflow and return pump

09-23-2009, 11:23 AM
We got a free green birdsnest last week and its already shown a lot of growth. Heres a pic after we got it, and I'll have another this afternoon


The deal fell through on the free sump, but I will be buying 2, 18 gallon tanks to use as a sump sometime this week. One will be a remote fuge with live rock (well base rock to not start a cycle, but it will be live soon), chaeto and a deep sand bed, and the other will be for equipment. I'm hoping to double the amount of rock that we have by using the remote refugium.

We also got a bangai cardinal over the weekend. Its doing awesome so far and gets a long fine with everyone.

09-25-2009, 04:38 PM
New pics



Green Slimer


Green Birdsnest


Indigo Acro


09-25-2009, 04:46 PM
Purple Birdsnest with tons of new growth


10-23-2009, 04:58 PM
Just wanted to update. The tanks doing great. Fish are all healthy and the coral are growing fast. I'm working on getting a sump going in it and also hope to upgrade the skimmer. The tunze nano dock sicks. I'll probably end up stickeing a coralife 125 on it. Its a little over kill but its going to be a sps/ anemone tank so I want the water as clean as possible.

Once we get the sump doing I'm going to buy 30 lbs of dry rock and swap it for the 35 lbs of live rock we have now. The live rock will go in the sump and the dry in the display. I just can't stand the clove polyps and xenia on it and it will be nice to start with fresh rock in the display, and double the filtration at the same time, lol. That way I can drill holes in the dry rock for frag plugs

10-23-2009, 06:49 PM
Wow that tank looks amazing and the coral selection is great! Looking forward to see more of it :)

10-23-2009, 06:51 PM
Thanks for the update! I agree, the tank looks awesome!

10-28-2009, 11:18 AM
Thank you. Hopefully I'll have some growth shots and a FTS by this afternoon. Both birdsnest are growing very fast

11-02-2009, 12:30 PM
More growth shots


The tips are actually turning green on this purple birdsnest




11-03-2009, 02:52 AM
good shots and the birdsnests sure grow fast huh?

11-04-2009, 12:15 PM
good shots and the birdsnests sure grow fast huh?

Thank you, and the birdsnest do grow fast. Much faster then the acros do. I've noticed the bigger they get, the faster they grow too. I think the growths picked up quite a bit since I've been feeding kent zooplex every few days. At this rate I'll be fragging both birdsnest in a few months

11-05-2009, 04:42 AM
yeah they really do, I feel like I can see mine grow as every week goes by.

11-09-2009, 12:26 PM
I added a tiger pistol shrimp this weekend. I'll try and get a pic of him this afternoon if he stops digging for 5 minuets, lol. I'm hoping my YWG will find him soon. His holes in a great spot for pictures

11-18-2009, 12:16 PM
Still no picture of the tiger. I haven't seen them in 2 days, but I know their still alive cause the tanks cloudy from all the digging and I heard him hunting last night. His snapping scared me the 1st time I heard it. I thought the tank was breaking, lol

11-27-2009, 01:07 PM
An updated FTS. The water was clear for the first time in a while. Every since adding the pistol shrimp its slightly cloudy most days. The was taken from the 5 mp camera on my droid eris. Its slightly bluer then the tank is but still looks decent for a phone. You can see in the picture I moved most of my sps to the frag racks. The clove polyps are just growing over the plugs they are on. Since I'm changeing tanks in a month or so I moved them to the frag rack until that time


This is the frag rack

12-10-2009, 06:54 AM
This tank has been broken down and put into a 75 gallon so I will no longer be using this thread