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Shane's First Reef - 20g Mixed Reef


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Hi Everyone,

I just started creating my first reef tank. Here are some of it's details.


- AI Prime (non-HD) from @reefrun (p.s. she's an awesome seller)

- Fluval 70 HOB filter

- Aqueon 250W Heater

I don't have an RO unit or salt, so I purchased some water from Paradise Corals in Hillsboro. I also got some CaribSea Caribbean Oolite sand. I added the sand and water to the tank on Sunday night. Monday morning I drove to Gresham and purchased live rock from a local hobbyist. She gave me a bunch of random corals that she had, so I also added them to my tank.

Here are some pictures from Monday night and this afternoon: https://imgur.com/gallery/HXVcTPb

I'm looking for ID on the coral species. Some of them look to be of the genus Euphyllia. Some of them look like Capnella (Kenya Tree?), and even Sarcophyton (Toadstool/Mushroom coral). If anyone can bring some clarity regarding what species are in the photos, I would really appreciate it. I want to know how to properly care for them.

I was also reading about photo-inhibition, and how too much light can be problematic for corals while adjusting to a new environment. In order to prevent any problems, I placed a mesh screen over top of my tank. I know that the previous owner had a relatively large system, and since mine is smaller, there is a higher likelihood that they are exposed to greater light intensity.

I'm still searching for some equipment. I am trying to find a nice refractometer, along with a good test kit so I can start monitoring parameters.

Does it look like I'm doing anything outrageously wrong? If so, let me know. Excited to finally have started my own tank!


Edited by sharambil
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So it looks like you have the following:



small torch?


Colt/Kenya tree


Green mushrooms 


And the bad on RHS of the tank:

Clove polyps



If I were you I would remove the rock on the right and kill it (put in fresh water for a while or acid bath it). Clove polyps will take over your tank and fill in every free spot as they spread.



main issue you will run into is cycling, or lack there of in your case. The rock being live will help but the tank will still cycle and you risk the corals dying during the cycle. Most you have are hearty and will likely pull through. 

I would invest in test kits sooner then later. ideally for cycling parameters you need ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. 

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Hey you're up and running already! That's awesome, you'll always remember the first tank 🙌

I agree with Blue Z Reef... I know those clove polyps are cool, but you have so much aptasia on that rock that your whole tank will be covered soon. I think it's best to pull it out and get another piece. 

For light, primes aren't too powerful. I had 3 of them over my shallow nano tank so I don't think you need to filter the light. 

I also agree with the comment on testing. your LFS (live fish store) can usually do some testing, but you'll at least need to get a refractometer and alk/nitrate test at a bare minimum, ideally also a calcium and phosphate test too. Keep your eye on the forum, a lot of times people are cleaning out there reef stash and sell test kits for cheap 

thanks for the shout out - best of luck!!

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Thanks for the input! I'll see if I can get a replacement rock piece, or treat the one on the right to remove the Aiptasia! 

Should I get a natural Aiptasia predator like peppermint shrimp, even after I remove the Aiptasia infected rock, just to make sure that it stays under control? I heard they reproduce quickly, and I'm not sure if they are present on the other rock piece (as I got them from the same tank). 




Edited by sharambil
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