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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I’ve kept aquariums in some form or another for at least 15 years and the past 6 have been spent reefing. After debating several months I decided to breakdown my 40 breeder. It was a roller coaster journey- I enjoyed my time, cursed my life, spent a small fortune and would do it all again in a heartbeat. I had many corals more than 5 years and some had great sentimental value. Now I’m looking for a new aqua challenge and a planted nano seems like a logical choice. Every penny spent so far has come from selling the reef. If there is one thing I’ve learned from reefing is buy what you want the first time or it will be more expensive the second time- so I did. This Mini M will help brighten up my new office at work.



Most Current Photo - September 14

 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Aquarium
ADA Mini M

Lighting
ADA Solar Mini M

Substrate
ADA Aqua Soil Amazonia I Powder

Hardscape
Collected Local Stone

CO2
5lb CO2 Cylinder
GLA Supreme CO2 Regulator

Filtration
Ehiem 2213
Cal Aqua Fluxus 13mm Nano

DIY
Rex Reactor
Inline Heater
Inline PH Probe
Inline Temperate Probe

Test Kits
API Master Test Kit
Cal Aqua "Nano" Drop Checker

Controller
Aqua Controller Jr.
DC 8

Fertilizer
pfertz High-Tech+

Tools
ADA

Flora
Utricularia graminifolia - UG
Elocharis sp. - Dwarf Hair Grass (possible)

Fauna
Caridina so. - Crystal Red Shrimp
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Obviously this thread is about the Mini M but here are some pics of the old reef.

Full Tank Shot on Tear Down Day


Day of the Great Flood and the lovely Mrs.


Sump


It was a sad and expensive day when this Stichodactyla gigantea died- we were out of town for Christmas and came home to a wretched smelling house and a nuked tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Back to the Mini M - Unpacking Day






Yeti thinks it’s Christmas.


Ryouh Stones from Jeff at ADG - Thank You.


I purchased the Ehiem on eBay and it was packed with shredded 1096 tax forms complete with full SS numbers, birthdates, names, and address. Opps!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Stones
I’m leaning towards using locally collected stones from Northern Minnesota. I only know about them because I'm a white water kayaker and they are from a small rock island between two class 3/4 rapids. The island is only accessible when the water is low for a few months of the year because you must climb down a 20 foot ledge/waterfall and cross the rapids to get at it. It's inaccessible by kayak because the rapids are too swift. I'm doing a two week ph test to see if they affect water quality. They've already passed the vinegar test.







 

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Discussion Starter #7
Aquascaping
I’m leaning towards an Iwagumi style scape but I’m hesitant to call it that because of all the baggage and “rules” associated with it. I am completely open to critiques and suggestions.

I chipped the tank yesterday while scaping -DAMN. It would probably hold water fine but I won’t risk it. I guess I’ll need to start a terrarium next. New tank should arrive tomorrow.

Scape 1


Scape 2


Scape 3


Scape 4




Scape 5
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Flora
I absolutely love the use of Utricularia graminifolia in Ugly Genius' riverrun- it inspired me to give UG a try. Ugly- I hope you don’t mind me using your photo.



UG from Dollface growing out in the warm laundry room waiting for the new Mini M.


 

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Discussion Starter #9
DIY Rex Reactor/Heater/PH Probe/Temp Probe
Dry fitted DIY Rex Reactor/Heater/PH Probe/Temp Probe. The unit is about 24 inches tall and will be powered by an Ehiem 2213 at about 116gph (minus headloss) for a 5.5 gallon Mini M. It's a little taller because of the lower gph. The PH probe will control the CO2 via an AquaController (leftover from my reefing days) and is before the reactor for more accurate results. The temp probe will also control the heater via the AquaController. Reactor will be installed vertical or close to vertical with the heater at the bottom. The pipe is 2 inches in diameter and the fittings are all Heyco Cordgrips.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Ideas?

1 Water In
2 CO2 Build-Up Release Valve
3 CO2 In
4 PH Probe
5 Water Out
6 75 Watt Ebo Jaber Heater
7 Temp Probe



This is the most current design- the temp probe was moved further from the heater for more accurate control.
 

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wicked, looks like you know what your doing. haha. That reef tank looked sick. Cant wait too see the progress of your new tank. I love unpacking and open new boxes, just like christmas.
 

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4 and 5 look the best in my opinion. Your local stones look a lot better than the Ryouh Stones! They look great for an Iwagumi style tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
That reef tank looked sick.
Thanks Pac! It was a sad day but we've moved 5 times in the last 5 years and will be moving again shortly. A reef requires more stability than that.

Your local stones look a lot better than the Ryouh Stones!.
I got a great deal on them so I can't complain.


Scape 6 - My current favorite.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
looking good so far, idk how my boss would feel with a tank at work...
hahaha I've already been cleared for a "small aquarium" but believe me I will be hiding all the CO2 and filtration in a cabinet. The worst they could say is bring it home.
 

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I've never seen a reef tank that makes me want my own, yours is(was?) a first.
How is your UG holding up? That's such a cute little vase.

Your locally collected rocks are super cool, a little straight for my tastes, I like scape #4 the most except for the larger leftmost rock, I think a smaller, more similarly shaped rock would be better.
 

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^^I gotta agree, your old reef is magnificant, to say the least! I'm certain your planted aquascape will be up to per in its final aesthetic layout!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
One thing I would be concerned with is excess co2 being trapped in the reactor leaving the heater to possibly be exposed to a dry spot.
The reactor will be mounted vertical with the heater at the bottom. There is also a purge valve at the top. Do you still think it will still be an issue?


How is your UG holding up?
The UG is doing great. It was a pale yellow when it arrived and I thought it was too far gone but it greened up nicely in the past few days.

 

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I believe the pale yellow may have been due to it being in the dark during shipping. Good to see that it's doing well though.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
jinsei888 Thank you! I think one problems with many reef tanks (including mine) is the lack of thought put into the aquascaping and coral selection. Too many reefs have random corals that look great alone but don't work together. This will be my first tank that every rock, plant, and animal will be carefully chosen to work with each other.
 
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