View Full Version : Jenn's 55G Reef

02-09-2010, 08:54 AM
I felt the need to start a new updated thread for the tank, as it has migrated back over to the world of reefs:hmm3grin2orange:

The 56watt SOT5 I ordered was backordered for over a month without anything so I canceled that order and found a rather nice 4*54watt HOT5 fixture on ebay. It is made by Catalina, I opted for 2*10K bulbs, 1 420 actinic and 1 460 actinic. The 460 puts off a much more blue hue than the 420...I think the corals are going to like it. I am a bit behind schedule as far as progress on the tank. Ive honestly not done anything so far other than I added the 2nd BakPak 2 and an AC50 for chemical filtration. Im using the BakPak 2 also as a makeshift phosphate killer, I have it loaded down with ChemiPure Elite. The AC50 has a bag of Purigen and a Polyfilter. The Bak Pak Reef ready doesnt have any media or anything fun.

Im going to order some additional rock from LiveRockUSA as planned before all the lighting troubles. Probably 30lbs of live and Ill chuck in some dry base rock I have laying around. Corals are going to remain very simple Im just going to have mushrooms, palys, and maybe some random other softies. Heres a pretty crappy pic of the tank...I so need to clean the inside of the glass...its some kind of dust or something from the sand:11:


02-09-2010, 10:02 AM
looks like it will be stunning


02-09-2010, 02:53 PM
Jenn, good luck with this tank. It's good to see that you haven't given up on the reef idea. thumbs2:

02-09-2010, 03:32 PM
It looks like it has great potential! Keep us updated!

02-09-2010, 03:38 PM
Looks like you're gonna have a blast with that tank. Keep us posted.

02-09-2010, 03:44 PM
Thanks all :22:

It has been kind of a dooms day for every reef Ive ever done, they all wind up going through a sporatic random winter tragedy. But seeing as the parentals have opted to install solar panels this summer it shouldnt be an issue. The corals I will be keeping also wont be really any more demanding than keeping good rock. I dont think this tank will be quite as coral focused as the last but still a reef of sorts.

02-09-2010, 03:53 PM
That appears to be the start of another Killer tank Jenn!thumbs2:
Good luck fending off the rest of the Winter months!

02-10-2010, 04:18 AM
Im glad you're going reef again Jenn, hopefully this one won't ended up like your last two. Everything looks good so far!

02-10-2010, 12:18 PM
Looking greatthumbs2: You'll love the light. We had a 4x39 watt HOt5 fixture from them. I sold it recently cause I upgraded to 2 halides. I would upgrade the factory 10000K bulbs to 14000K uvl bulbs. The 10000K were just too yellow for my taste.

02-10-2010, 07:06 PM
I probably will when I replace the bulbs...that 460 actinic is killing out any hope of a yellow hue when its on :hmm3grin2orange: Its going to take me awhile to figure out how to take good pics of the tank with such a blue cast making everything look weird.

Thanks for the encouragement everyone, its nice to be on the track of a reef again.

02-11-2010, 11:11 AM
I ordered 2 new Koralia 2s to replace those hideous powerheads. That should definatly give me adequate flow with the Koralia 1 and the 2 skimmers plus HOB. :hmm3grin2orange: I have also came up with a scape for the tank, which I think will be much better than anything I could have ever done with a 15G. Im going for 2 specific individual formations in the tank one larger on the left and one smaller on the right. I cant wait to scape this thing.

02-11-2010, 07:41 PM
Can't wait too see it done, all your tanks look amazing so im pretty sure this one won't be the exception!

02-12-2010, 03:13 AM
Looking forward to following the journal. thumbs2:

02-12-2010, 06:52 AM
Thank you :11:

I finally did the order on the 30lbs of rock, scape to come when it arrives :22:

02-17-2010, 10:55 PM
My rock from LiveRockUSA arrived today...they actually sent me nearly 40lbs of rock instead of the 30lbs. I assume it is because the 1 flat piece I ordered couldnt met from the premium category they had to send a piece of live base rock instead so they tossed it in for free and sent the 30lbs of premium LR. WHich is totally fine by me.:hmm3grin2orange:

My review of LRUSA...It is alot different than Pacific East's rock. Pacific East's rock is covered with mass tons of thick coraline when it arrives but outside of that there isnt much life outside of a couple of clams here or there. LR USA is the opposite, there isnt much coraline when it arrives but there is tons of other life. I have a bunch of clams, quite a few large dusters and a bunch of small ones. There is also alot of macro algae...there was also a starfish in the box but unfortunatly it didnt make the trip. Im sure there will be a few snails pop up, and I did notice some sponges that still looked to be alive.

For the price, you cant beat it, $4 per lb shipped...awesome customer service and everything came well packaged. Each rock was individually wrapped in soaked brown paper there was some water in the bag to keep it moist. Box was lined in 1" styro with heatpacks. With that said I would recommend if anyone orders this rock they consider ordering some super encrusted with coraline rock to to with it if your looking for the color and speedier spread of coraline.

I also got my two new Koralia 2s in today...awesome circulation. I will need to replace the pump on the newest used BakPak I bought, it keeps failing at injecting air and Ive broke it down twice this week. Ill probably go with a Rio RVT 800 like my other BakPak has as it has been trouble free since day 1. I am thinking of using the old skimmer pump to make a circulation bar behind my rockwork. I would just need a small piece of vinyl tube and a 4ft section of small rigid plastic tubing with an endcap. Id drill holes every 2" or so in the rigid tube to have it spray fresh water behind the rock to prevent dead spots. After breaking down my 15G and seeing the crud that accumulated in 4 months I feel circulation now more than ever is crucial:11:

02-17-2010, 11:04 PM
wow beautiful looking tank. cant wait to see it when it is finished! :1luvu: thumbs2:

02-18-2010, 02:33 AM
Thanks Anabantoid! :11:

Now for a real update, some pics:

I have 2 10,000Ks, 1 420nm Actinic and 1 460nm Actinic. The 460nm gives the tank the super blue look, which I think the corals will love. My old reef just had a 420 and a 10,000K...never quite had the reef blue cast down. I do like this blue tho...and this pic is with the 10Ks on.

02-18-2010, 02:35 AM
And some of the rock:


02-18-2010, 02:37 AM
Yay pics!!! :19:

Lookin' good so far. :ssmile:

02-18-2010, 03:14 AM
looking good Jenn! That rock looks amazing and it looks like it has lots of life through out. I see some glass nems aka aiptasia poping and you want to kalk paste them before they take over your rocks. it looks like you also got some gorgonians, hopefully some survive the cycle.

02-18-2010, 03:14 AM
Looks great. I like the rock!

02-18-2010, 03:52 AM
Thanks everyone :22:

I am planning to get a good strong CUC to hopefully take care of any undesirables. Are those 2 large anenome things also Aiptasia? The seem to large...as their centers are nearly 50cent piece sized, if so they are the largest I have ever seen :hmm3grin2orange:

02-18-2010, 03:53 AM
Very nice jenn!

02-18-2010, 03:54 AM
Nice rock piles! Good job scaping.

02-18-2010, 04:18 AM
Thanks everyone :22:

I am planning to get a good strong CUC to hopefully take care of any undesirables. Are those 2 large anenome things also Aiptasia? The seem to large...as their centers are nearly 50cent piece sized, if so they are the largest I have ever seen :hmm3grin2orange:

yes, i've seen them this big at the store where and at this size not even peppermint shrimp will eat them, so you need to kalk paste them.

02-18-2010, 04:51 AM
sucks, i was hoping they were something friendlier due to their size. I will pick up some glue and scare them back into their holes and cover them up. Will definatly order some pepermint shrimp for the maintained control of them.

02-26-2010, 05:43 AM
Pic of the tank without the actinics on,

I have ordered kalk for the aiptasia, they are still in the tank so far. Nothing new as of now I may pick up the first of the fish in a week or two.

02-26-2010, 07:14 AM
Nice!thumbs2: So when do you think you will be able to get some corals?

02-28-2010, 04:57 AM
great job on the rockwork, can't wait to see you stocking this tank! i havent forgotten the zoo frag I promised, just let me know when your ready :)

02-28-2010, 06:56 AM
Thanks Milt :11:

I probably wont start stocking corals till April. I need to suck it up and buy a home RO/DI unit...bringing water from the LFS is getting old. I will probably just go with a 50GPD Coralife PureFlo RO and add on the DI unit. Have the larger 100GPD model at the shop and its really easy to use, and I dont really need a pump as I will only need 8-9G per week tops. :22:

03-06-2010, 04:14 AM
I snapped this pic before cleaning the camera...just shows some of the explosion of life out of the LRusa rock. Coraline is making a recovery now that its fully cured and in the tank. Diatomes have almost stopped now...and if my flow isnt enough to keep cyano away Im not sure what would be enough. lol


03-06-2010, 08:50 PM
I have two vortech mp40s and that did not keep my tank from getting the dreaded cyano bloom ughhh

everything is looking good Jenn al ot of life is on those rocks even if some are unwanted.

03-07-2010, 12:03 AM
Im still holding on hope for to much flow :hmm3grin2orange: I do need to order my CUC this weekend tho. Tuesday is already gonna be loaded down with acclimating cichlids may as well toss marine inverts into the mix.

I dont mind the "unwanted" critters for this tank really, Its not going to be as coral focused as the 15 was so whatever springs up(except bristleworms) Im honestly oK with. I am very pleased that my aiptasia are non-invasive Curly Cues, and the random macro is very welcomed I sought out and destroied it before but now it can grow.

03-07-2010, 12:08 AM
Very nice! I really enjoyed watching my rock come 'alive'...

I also have some aiptasia...haven't tried to get rid of them yet...they're kinda fun to feed...very enthusiastic!

03-07-2010, 12:23 AM
lol, I have grown attached to my 5 as well. I dont mind them being in there as long as they dont take over the whole tank...and since these wont they can live out their life in my tank. I will admit I also feed these...and they always look extra nice the day I put in the phytoplankton :11:

03-07-2010, 05:25 AM
The tanks looking great Jenn, keep up the good work

To be honest, in the 18 months we've done saltwater, we have yet to have much of a cyno stage. Our 75 had diatoms for a week and then hair algae for another week. The only cyno we have is on the sand under 3 of our large lps colonies, and since you can only see it at night when they retract it doesnt bother me.

03-07-2010, 03:57 PM
Aiptasia are extremely capable of becoming invasive in an aquarium. They're no harm in FOWLR tank's, but they're a nuisance in a reef tank.

It'll be a lot easier getting them out now while there is a few on a single rock or two, rather than later when there are dozens of them on every rock in the tank.

03-07-2010, 04:57 PM
They type I have from my research arnt supposed to really reproduce in the aquarium unless you bother them. The curly cues are supposed to be a non-invasive species of anenome that just essentially hangs out in the tank and lives out its life then dies off, I have read stories online of failed attempts at killing them which caused them to rapidly spread for whatever reason. Which is the main reason Ive just left them, better to enjoy them as they are than to risk their spread. Is this information not correct? I figured Id add a few peppermits to the tank to kill any small ones incase they did reproduce. I have honestly never had any of this "life" on live rock as pacific easts rock is extremely well cured the only hitchhikers on their rock is small clams imbedded in crevices, and the rock Ive had in past tanks probably wasnt technically really alive when I bought it anyway.

Thanks Lab, good to know youve not really had an issue with it. Ive yet to see cyano in any SW tank except those I kept at the LFS and it wasnt really any sort of unmanageable growth. :11:

03-07-2010, 06:00 PM
If those are indeed curly cue anemones then you're correct, they're not as invasive as other aiptasia's (they're in the same family).

03-08-2010, 11:32 PM
Thanks, they *should* be curly cues they certainly look like them and they are very common on aquacultured flordia rock.

I do have an update for the tank. I picked up the first fish this afternoon. I took a road trip to the predominatly SW store after work and picked up a very handscome 3" tomatoe clown. He is drip acclimating now...pics to come late tonight probably :22:

03-09-2010, 05:15 AM
Glad to hear about the new addition! Tomato Clowns are great fish. ;)

03-09-2010, 05:17 AM
Heres a really bad pic of it, I will try for more another day. Fish wont be still and the only lamps on are the actinics.

They are I agree TB, it was between this fish and a maroon clown....this individual one won due to personality. :11:

03-09-2010, 05:08 PM
Aww nice pic! Your clown looks very colorful and healthy. Lol yea, Tomatos have more personality than any of the other clowns, IMO.

03-11-2010, 04:02 AM
very cool looking tomato but i think he needs a better pic to do him justice lol

03-11-2010, 05:28 AM
I agree. I will have to get the tripod and overhead lamp out over the weekend and really give it a try. :hmm3grin2orange:

03-23-2010, 02:59 AM
Unfortunatly the clown decided to take a leap of faith....didnt find him in time, so I am fishless again. Water parms are spot on...so no idea why he decided to take the jump.

coraline and macro is growing some
astraea snails, i swear they must have bleached their shells they were spotless
coraline, macro and sponges

03-23-2010, 03:18 AM
Looks great!

03-24-2010, 09:42 PM
Thanks Rich :22:

I just ordered a few corals from a fellow hobbyist online, getting 4-5 zoas...a clove polyp, and kenya tree. The tank has been doing very very well the last 2 weeks. Diatoms are non-existant...parms are spot on. Its looking like I will not need an RO unit as my tap seems remarkably clean. I decided to wait and see how things went before buying the RODI and the specs are perfect. Seems the home filtration system is doing a good enough job on its own.

Parms are:
SG: 1.025
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: less than 5ppm(unmeasurable)
PO4: less than .25(unmeasrable on the Salifert kit)
dKH: 8
PH: 7.8-touch low but within reason I have started low dosing some Marine Buffer weekly...so hopefully over the next couple of weeks it brings it up closer to 8.0

04-16-2010, 07:59 AM
Alot has changed since I updated here :)

I aquired 4 frags from a fellow hobbyist a couple of weeks ago; 1 red paly, 1 neon orange zoa, 1 neon green zoa, 1 brown with yellow skirt zoa. They were doing quite well even tho they went through a rather rough 3 day transit due to some delays.

So I decided to re-stock fish and maybe pick up some more coral today. I drove out to the marine shop and bought a pair of black occelaris. I also got a large mother colony of nuc green zoas with some random green palys mixed in...its well over 100+heads. I also picked up a large rock of GSP...probably about the size of my hand laid flat. All of these seem to be taking well to the tank, corals opened after about an hour of being in the tank....clowsn ate 5mins after being in the tank. They are small fish so they get having some issues with the circulation as they came from a very very low flow tank but Im sure they will adapt and find areas of less current. :22:

I will take some pics tomorrow for sure.

04-16-2010, 09:39 AM
Insomnia set in, so here are the pics:
FTS, all the pics are shot with only my 2 back actinics 1 420nm, 1 460nm
hitchhiker coral...I assume its some form of clove polyp
bad pic of my smallest frag, only about 7 tiny heads on this one
this one i think will grow into a pretty nice colony

04-16-2010, 09:41 AM
crappy pic, but heres the orange zoa
one of my favs :)
new GSP
new zoa/paly colony...the backside is just as thick as the front

04-16-2010, 03:18 PM
Nice stuff! The oranges will look awesome when they grow out!

04-16-2010, 03:22 PM
Jenn, I've had 0 appreciation for reef\coral salt tanks, until I saw pictures of your work in progress. Let's just say I'm seeing them in a whole new light. :18:

04-16-2010, 06:31 PM
I agree the orange will make a nice colony, just gonna take time. I do plan to go back to the marine shop and pick up more coral in a week or two. Think I like about getting coral there is you get colonies for what frags online cost.

Thanks Taurus, marine is an awesome thing. It evolves and takes on true life of its own. You cant look into your FW tank daily and find new things really...but in a reef it alwas happens. :22:

04-18-2010, 09:53 AM
I looked into the tank today and to my suprise discovered a little penny sized starfish on the front glass. I assume it is another hitchiker from the flordia aquacultured rock, I believe it to be a sand sifting star based on shape and markings. Unfortunatly these grow large so I will either have to get rid of it eventually or upgrade...either way its a harmless detris eater so no worries on it atleast.
One of the hermits crawling up on my zoas
Bad pic of the clown pair, female to the left male to the right

04-18-2010, 01:37 PM
How do you about telling which is male or female it looks hard with clownfish no real differences. Ha. I am in awh with the starfish pic. it is beautiful

04-18-2010, 04:02 PM
Female clowns are the larger "bossy" ones :hmm3grin2orange: Clownfish have the ability to change sex. In a LFS with a whole tank of clowns will usually have 1 dominant female and next in line breeding male and then the rest are nonbreeders. If that dominant female were to die the breeding male would change its gender to female and the highest ranking non-breeder would become the breeding male.

04-19-2010, 02:15 AM
Wow, I love your coral, and the new clowns!

04-19-2010, 02:16 AM
Wow very nice tank :)

04-19-2010, 05:56 PM
Thanks you two :22:

Im going back to that store the end of this week or first of next and hopefully pick up a few more coral and look into getting a pair of firefish, I also ordered 20lbs more LR from pacific east which should arrive the end of this week. 80lbs of rock in a 55G shouldnt be to much.

04-19-2010, 10:43 PM
thumbs2: Can't wait to see pics once you get more livestock!

04-28-2010, 09:38 PM
Thanks TB :22:

I picked up 2 more corals yesterday, got a good sized pink zoa colony with around 50 heads as well as a colony of lime green ricordeas with 13 individual smaller shrooms(around quarter size). Also did an impulse purchase on a 6line wrasse :22:

04-29-2010, 12:23 AM
Now for some pics:


05-06-2010, 03:15 AM
very nice pick ups Jenn, everything is looking great! and dont worry we all make those impulse buys lol

05-06-2010, 03:19 AM
lol! Good to hear. I did luck out on the fact the Wrasse eats like a champ, have heard alot of people find them difficult to feed. This one eats everything from formula flakes to live enriched brine. Im also contemplating doing a re-scape on the tank before I get to many coral in there to easily move things around.

05-13-2010, 03:26 AM
Some updates:

Yellow Polyps....Im calling them my "dumb blonde" coral
Noticed a new sponge growing
Freebie from the nice guy at the marine shop, I assume it is some sort of SPS if so time will tell how it does under just 216watts of HOT5 it is high on the rock so that may help

Also picked up a pair of firefish...they are doing very well but unfortunatly I didnt get any good pics of them.

05-14-2010, 02:24 PM
Nice pictures. You tanks coming along great

05-14-2010, 02:36 PM
Looking great Jenn. Keep up the good work.

05-19-2010, 04:40 AM
Thanks for the comment guys!

Updated FTS, to my shock the acropora is growing under 216watts of HOT5 and not in a leggy way
finally got one of a firefish
pink zoa

I ordered a small royal gramma, its arriving later today :11:

05-19-2010, 05:23 AM
Looks great, sweet firefish!

05-20-2010, 11:02 PM
Thanks Labby :11:

My new Royal Gramma, the only fish from Liveaquaria really in nice condition

07-13-2010, 07:49 AM
The tank...added a few fragged a few. Still need to fill in that middle...procrastination, lol
Popping out some new heads
Pinky...probably around 80-90 heads and going strong
GSP has naturally grown

07-13-2010, 07:51 AM
The big green blob...has gotten larger
New large mushroom colony
Polyps have grown in some as well
Newest and last fish...yellow tail blue damsel

09-08-2010, 11:07 PM
I really enjoyed reading your journal Jenn

I hope my Sw tank will look 1/2 as good as yours

09-08-2010, 11:10 PM
very nice...

09-09-2010, 01:30 AM
Thanks :22: The tank is far from complete, I still need to fill in the center with more rock and add more coral. Low tech reefs are what they are...I love the fact I dont have to constantly mess with this tank.

10-12-2010, 04:33 AM
Filled in the middle, I just used some dead base rock I had laying around and moved some of the rock around.
young zoa colonies

10-12-2010, 12:37 PM
WOW this tank looks absolutely fantastic Jenn! Awesome job :)

10-12-2010, 03:05 PM
Thanks! I like it alot better now with the middle filled in :22:

10-12-2010, 05:46 PM
I agree... I mean it looked fantastic before hand but now it looks even better... how is your clown pair doing? I'm planning on getting two and possibly attempting to have them spawn when I get my tank up and going (most likely won't be until december lol)

10-12-2010, 06:17 PM
Hey Jenn, nearer the time i come to decide to set up a marine reef tank, if i pay for the flight and accommodation you wanna come up here and set it up for me :hmm3grin2orange:
absolutely love this tank and all the others well done :19:

10-13-2010, 12:38 AM
They do very well, the clowns are always out and about. Clowns switch gender so when you buy them from the LFS there will be 1 large one bossing the others around, which is the female. Buy 2 small ones which will be subordinate males and the dominant of them will switch gender to become female. Once they go female they cannot revert back to being male.

lol! Seriously if you want to pay to fly me to Canada I will stack some LR up for ya :hmm3grin2orange:

10-13-2010, 04:15 AM
Mc, your tank is gorgeous! I wish I could take macro photos like that. The depth of focus on some of those zoa pictures is really attractive.

10-13-2010, 04:56 AM
Wow your tank has really blossomed into a showpiece. Looks amazing!

10-25-2010, 01:44 AM
Thanks guys, the remodel has promoted my interest in this tank again. So much that I just won a few new corals on Ebay. The seller has 100% feedback and all of the corals are WYSIWYG...plus for the prices I am by no means going to complain.
Got this mixed rock for $7.75
Got this eagle eye for $17
Got this one for a touch under $10

10-25-2010, 01:48 AM
Nice looking corals.

10-25-2010, 02:01 AM
Cool, can't wait to see them in your tank!

10-25-2010, 02:09 AM
Looks great

I can't wait to start getting corals in my tank

Congrats on finding a good deal

10-25-2010, 02:10 AM
Nice find!

10-25-2010, 03:56 AM
Your tanks looking awesome. Keep up the good work

10-26-2010, 10:09 PM
Corals arrived today, they came in very nice condition. They have all pretty much opened minus the Eagle Eye which has 6 hermits spastically cleaning it. I have them on the sand for now...will move them into their destinations the end of the week when I do a WC :22:

10-26-2010, 10:17 PM
I'm looking forward to seeing pic with everything in its place


11-14-2010, 06:53 AM
As requested, here is a new FTS

The new Eagle Eye

New mixed frag rock...

The chunky gramma was posing above his crest

11-14-2010, 01:09 PM
Looking great Jenn

I can hardly wait for the day when I can start adding corals to my tank.

11-14-2010, 02:01 PM
Very beautful!

11-14-2010, 02:20 PM
Do you still have the 'sponge' pictured in post #66 of this thread?

It looks more like some sort of favia, favites or some other sort of faviid (basically a hitch hiking LPS coral).

11-14-2010, 04:15 PM
Thanks guys!

Upon touching it, it is def. some sort of sponge...I did think it was some sort of coral at first. But yeah its still in there along with many other random sponges :22:

09-27-2011, 09:06 AM
Big changes for the tank since I last posted. I Recently moved the tank to another room so I can watch it more often. I also seriously fragged the corals...actually I think a better term would be I removed 70% of them. I got rid of 3 colonies, and fragged most of the others back to about where they were in the previous photo...some are even smaller. The excess corals are now home at my parent's...they have an established 90G marine tank which was begging for some corals. I would also like something besides zoas, I am eyeballing some pulsing xenia...ricordeas...and some more clove polyps. They are probably my fav coral right now.

09-27-2011, 10:38 AM
I've had great luck with both my ricordeas and clove polyps, they should do great in your tank

I would love to see a pic of the tank Jenn.