Office Tank

Apex, NC
Timeline

Introduction

I am fairly new to reef aquariums. I started this aquarium 3 years ago with the hope of building out an SPS dominant reef with lots of colorful fish. At the time, I didn't even know what SPS were. I only knew that I liked the colorful hard corals that I saw in everyone else's tank shots. I also really like the idea of an organism encrusting and laying down new hard substrate in the form of a skeleton. My tank has been built out slowly on a budget. I started with a 55 gallon Petco aquarium that I got during the "dollar a gallon" sale and built from there. It has certainly been trial and error from the start and I know that I've spent way more money than I would have if I had just saved up and bought high quality equipment from the beginning. On the flip side, I feel that I have learned a lot about reef keeping over the past 3 years and definitely continue to learn. Currently I'm working on building competence in treating incoming corals for pests, keeping consistently low nutrients, and being prepared to treat and quarantine fish.
Yellow Watchman Goby Thumbnail
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  • 3
  • Yellow Watchman Goby / Cryptocentrus cinctus

Photos

Lighting

Current lighting is a 48" Hamilton Cebu sun metal halide/T5 combo fixture. The fixture has 2 400 W halide bulbs (currently Ushio Aqualite 14K) and 4 T5 HO bulbs (2 ATI coral plus and 2 ATI Blue plus).

I run the T5s from 7:15 AM to 8:00 PM and the halides from 12:30 PM to 6:00 PM.

Measurements

460
Calcium
8.2
Alkalinity
Salinity
Magnesium
8.1
pH
Phosphorus
Phosphate
453
Silicate
Iron
18
Iodine
7.5
Strontium
397
Potassium

Inhabitants

8 Fish

2 Lyretail Anthias Pseudanthias squamipinnis
Ocellaris Clownfish Amphiprion ocellaris
Ocellaris Clownfish Amphiprion ocellaris
2 Spotted Cardinalfish Sphaeramia nematoptera
Spotted Cardinalfish Sphaeramia nematoptera
Yellow Watchman Goby Cryptocentrus cinctus

2 Corals

Hairy Mushroom Rhodactis indosinensis

7 Invertebrate

6 Nassarius Snail Nassarius vibes
Pencil Urchin Eucidaris tribuloides

Equipment

Feeding See more

1/4 Emerald Entree Cube · 1/4 Marine Cuisine Cube · Coral Frenzy · 1/4 Omega Brine Shrimp Cube · Reef Bugs · Reef Frenzy · Roti feast · KZ Amino Acids

On average you perform a 10.5% water change every 88 days.

0% total water change in July.

Diary Entries View all Diary Entries

water change
bucket 1: 9.6 dKH; 465 ppm Ca
bucket 2: 10.0 dKH; 475 ppm Ca

diluted with 1 L RODI



I have had the aquarium on auto pilot all summer and have really only fed the fish and emptied the skimmer cup. I've done occasional cleaning of the skimmer, but not very many times. Surprisingly, thi
All of the corals now appear to be thriving in the display. I hadn't realized how much damage the Klein's butterfly fish was doing to the corals. Now all of my sticks have great polyp extension, the s
My Unique Corals frags are doing well in the display tank. I have them on a magnetic frag rack for now. Both have had great polyp extension from day 1. The Blue Vermiculata had much more extensive enc
2 new corals from Unique Corals arrived today. I got a combo frag pack with the "Key Lime" and Blue Vermiculata Acropora vermiculata frags. I used a new, more rigorous dipping protocol with these base
I guess if there is a silver lining to losing the Klein's butterfly fish, I have noticed already that the acros are showing noticeable polyp extension today. Before, I was only seeing polyps in the br

8 activities in the last year

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Inspiration & Goals

I see all of the beautifully colorful tanks posted on various forums and would love to have something resembling those in my living room. I took a trip to Hawaii a few years ago and was blown away by all of the colorful fish swimming around the reefs that I snorkeled. I would be happy to keep even just a few of these species.

My goals are to get my current frags and small colonies to grow out into large colonies that add color and lots of nooks and crannies for my fish to hide in. In terms of fish, I would like to be somewhat heavily stocked, but not overstocked, and to have at least 1 small school of fish that flit around the reef.

I have been fairly successful getting corals to color up using the Zeovit method. However, my nitrates seem to occasionally creep above 5 ppm despite using Zeovit. When this happens, I notice my tricolor valida going a little brown. I'm working toward that balance of keeping nitrates stable around 2 ppm.

Ultimately, I want to upgrade to a 180 gallon or larger tank so that I can have more depth to my aquascape and keep larger fish and a wider variety.