My latest endeavor
Well…I don’t come here too often, but Dave wanted info on my latest endeavor. I have had a 2.5 gal pico reef for a little over a year now. I had all softies in it….and well….it’s the one in my avatar. I have seriously outgrown the little pico and have always wanted a larger reef tank. Being money challenge makes that a little hard, so it took quite a while to gather everything together. I got pretty amazing deals on everything for the set up…ghetto that it is. LOL I DIY’d a couple things to make it work for me.
A little over a year ago I was at a garage sale that had fish stuff for sale. I was really only looking for a stand for my 55 gal tank at the time, since it just sat on a couple of end table cabinet things I had that weren’t being used. The lady had a 55 gal tank with a chip in it on a black laquer stand. Inside the tank were the full hood and lights for the 55, a couple marineland HOB filters, that I later discovered were garbage, some fake SW tank décor, and another fluorescent strip light. Sitting next to that was a brand new still in plastic wrap 46 gal black backed acrylic tank. No overflows, just a basic tank. I decided I had to have that tank too as it was marked $20. All I wanted was the stand, the light strip for the 46 gal and the 46 gal. She told me it was an all or nothing deal…make her an offer for all of it. I jokingly said “I’ll give you $10 for everything.” So there it is…I got the 55 gal stand and tank (gave away the tank to someone with reptiles), the 46 gal tank, light strips….ended up being garbage except for the one that fit the 46…and garbage filters…..all for $10. I paid her and ran with it.
filters…..all for $10. I paid her and ran with it.
So, that tank sat in my garage for over a year. It was going to be a heavily planted tank….till I got reef addicted. Hehehehehe. I started looking on craigslist and at my lfs for used equiptment. Seems, things just started showing up that I needed. I got a used sump with 2 overflows for $50. Then I got a free bakpak2 skimmer that needed some parts. I kept waiting for lighting….but nothing came along and was about to buy a brand new coralife fixture when I walked into my lfs and there was a used coralife CF 2x65watt fixture. I got that for $15. Pumps, powerheads, hosing and plumbing I bought. Hooked it all up and wondered where the rest was coming from. I knew I would need to invest quite a bit to get it up and running in regards to LS, LR, water….etc.
I found a flier for a local reef club frag swap and decided that I wanted to go check that out just for fun. I had planned on eventually joining the reef club anyway….but had never been to a frag swap before and thought it might be fun to meet other reefers in the area. I talked to the public relations guy for the club and started posting on their club forum and before I knew it, I had 50 gal of RO/DI free to get my tank up and running. I went and bought salt and sand and set the tank up. Still….no LR. I made a trip to my lfs and was talking to one of the guys there while he filled my RO/DI bottles about how I was joining the reef club and how nice the one guy that gave me the RO water was and how helpful everyone in that club had been. Then we were talking about LR and how I was going to have to buy it like a rock at a time till I had enough because money was a bit tight. Next thing I knew….I was driving to his house that night because he had about 50 lbs of LR cured already in his garage that he didn’t need. FREE! Price that out!! Woohoooo.
So my tank was up and cycling. Didn’t take long, since the LR was cured already, to go through the ammonia and nitrite and nitrate spikes….and before I knew it, It was ready for a CUC and some corals.
Now….this past weekend was the frag swap. I had joined the reef club (a requirement to even attend) and paid my entrance to the swap for lunch. In order to participate, you were required to bring three frags of coral to be put on the table with all the rest of the corals. For those of you who don’t know how a frag swap works…..you pick a group number and bring some frags. When your group is called you have a certain amount of time to pick one coral off the table. Then the next group….and so on. The keep doing this until all the corals are gone. Now mind you….you brought three frags….but others….they might have brought 10-20 some being rare and expensive. Our reef club also donated coral frags as well, as did some of the local shops. Needless to say, I went home with 12 frags. Some softies and some LPS. No SPS…I don’t have the lighting for it. : (
It’s also an opportunity for people to sell used equiptment or other frags, fish, etc…as long as it’s prearranged. The also had a raffle. I ended up with all those frags, a CC starfish who lives in my sump (for those of you who are about to tell me NOT to put it in my tank) that someone was just giving away and a Serpent star that someone won in the raffle but didn’t want.
In anycase….I got home from the frag swap…moved the LR from my pico to the 46 and placed all my new prizes in the Pico. I was going to keep the Pico a frag tank but then decided I would take it down all together. So, I finalized my rockwork in the 46 gal and transferred everything to the 46. It’s still sparse and I’m looking forward to one of our sister reef clubs frag swaps in the near future.
My cuc consist of 1 blue legged hermit and 10 cerith snails at the moment. I will be adding 10 astreas and some more hermies this weekend.
In the process of joining the reef club….setting the tank up and getting it cycled and impatiently waiting for my first frag swap, I lost my job. (sound of screeching brakes!!!!!!) I was thinking maybe this new tank would pretty empty for a while…..but my hubby saw how depressed I was yesterday and took me on a trip to one of the LFS, and told me to pick a couple things out and gave me a $40 limit. Hahahaha a couple things? $40??? I’m thinking….that’s not gonna get me much. So…I ran straight to the LPS frag tanks. I’m thinking one $15 LPS frag and maybe a $12.50 zoa rock. I found these really neat red and green blastomusas and called hubby over to look at them. Meanwhile…he’s yelling over to me “look at this fish…..can we put this fish in there?”
So, I had to explain which kind of fish I could and couldn’t have and why. Needless to say he wasn’t impressed with the corals. So, I did a no no and bought an Ocellaris clown and a diamond goby. I’m regretting the diamond goby already as he’s excavated obsessively since he got home. The tank is a little new to be putting a fish in, but it’s done cycling and though I probably should have given it a few more weeks before I put a real bioload on it, I’ve been known to get away with no-no’s before. So….long as I stay on top of things I think it will be fine. So….this is my latest greatest endeavor….I’ve posting a few pics from beginning to current for Dave’s sake…and the rest if interested.
My next project….resetting up my pico cuz I miss it already. And then my next REAL project….convert the 55 gal FW tank that gets ignored and neglected to a FOWLR.
The pics in the above post are once it was up and running in various sttages.
The following are some of the frags I got at the swap, and the CC star in my sup. I neglected to get a pic of the Serpent starfish before he ran off and hid.
some more frags. I'll post pics of the whole tank and with the fish in it later. I need to get them off the camera and size them first.
WOW. That is really nice. It looks amazing. can't wait to see the fish.
The club will be fun too! It's nice to get together in real life, with like-minded folk!
55 g Goldfish Tank - 5 Fancies, 2 Dojos
25 g Tropical Tank - Celestial Pearl Danio/Mixed
how did you find your club, i here alot about them on websites but have never heard about any around here.
Employee at Pet Ranch in Merritt Island, Florida. We focus on Reptiles, Freshwater, Saltwater, and Exotic Plants.
Wow!! That's gorgeous! You've done a great job. I'm excited to see the fish!!!
Very nice pics, and some really great scores, congrats I can't wait to see it once you haveit closer to completion.
wicked awesome! Cant wait to see the fishies! yay!
It looks great... im sure its gonna be a tank to die for!
That is georgeous...... Awesome pics!!!!!!
75 Gallon South Cichlid: Tiger Oscar and Jack Dempsey
55 Gallon GT Tank: 1 Male GT and 8 Giant Danio
20 Gallon Long: Waiting for eco-complete planted red substrate that has been delayed 2 weeks due to weather.
"Don't buy fish at Wal-Mart then go to your local fish store for help when they die. Goto your local fish store first and get educated. It will save you money and many many fishes lives."