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Old 11/12/2018, 05:18 PM   #1
nmotz
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Trying to make a comeback!

Got the itch again and have decided to downsize a bit from my last tank, a 40G breeder featuring a Peacock mantis. This time I'm going to run a 14G Innovative Marine Peninsula with a minimalist aquascape, no skimmer, and just a few corals. I also plan on one clownfish.

But the main inhabitant will be an Odontodactylus Havenensis from KP Aquatics. Ships out a week from today. Tank is up and cycled. Still trying to work out few issues like changing the stock pump. People weren't kidding about that thing being too loud.


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Old 11/12/2018, 05:28 PM   #2
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O. Hav's are challenging for many in this hobby, myself included. The first one I owned lasted all of 5 days.

This tank will have fewer pieces of equipment overall. No skimmer as I mentioned. I plan on using the stock filter sock and I purchased two back-ups so I can clean and change them each week when I do a WC. I'll probably change 2G a week but that may change depending on the look of the tank. Nutrient removal will be accomplished by WCs and macroalgae. Eventually I'll add some red Gracilaria to add color and more nutrient absorption. Tests show that phosphate and nitrate can be completely eliminated from a tank by growing algae even without additional equipment, especially if the bioload remains low.

In the tank right now I have:
-Green/pink Stylophora
-Red monti cap
-Xenia
-2 sexy shrimp
-about a dozen periwinkle snails plus a few Virgin Nerites from Reef Cleaners
-small clipping of Fern Caulerpa, which is much more attractive than many other varieties and spawns less frequently

Of course the sexy shrimp probably won't make it, but my hope is the mantis will go for the snails. I will also feed frozen mysis mixed with Selcon, a must for mantis shrimp keepers.


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Old 11/12/2018, 05:36 PM   #3
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I'll add some photos soon, but there's not too much to see just yet. I'm using my old ATO (AutoAqua Smart ATO) and the IM Wavelink pump. It's pretty nice and very quiet, but I immediately regret my choice of substrate: Fiji Pink. Way too fine and I can't dial up the speed nearly as much as I wanted. I like very high flow in my tanks. I may have to cave in and cover up a few spots with a higher grade coral gravel.

MarinePure spheres should also help with biological filtration since I only have three pounds of live rock. I'm running carbon as well. But this is all a bit experimental in that I've never relied so heavily on macroalgae for nutrient removal.


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Old 11/13/2018, 01:04 AM   #4
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Nice to see you back into it! It has been too long! I currently have an O. Hav in a 20gal. Why would you not pick up a dinky little skimmer?


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Old 11/13/2018, 07:51 AM   #5
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I may still pick up a small skimmer at some point if I can't keep the water clean, but I'm really trying to keep the bioload down and space is limited in the back of the aquarium. I could've bought a hang-on but just didn't like the idea of a bulky piece of equipment being on the aquarium all the time. So I decided to try to remove nutrients the natural way: through macroalgae, although I've decided to use more decorative species than chaetomorpha.


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Old 11/17/2018, 09:23 AM   #6
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Here's a sneak peek, still got work to do and the mantis doesn't get here until Tuesday, but it's coming along. Mesh screen lid was ridiculously difficult to put together and reminded me how little patience I have for DIY stuff. I admire those who build everything themselves but when I can't even put together a simple frame with a spline, well, you just know that life isn't for you!

Was trying to manage all the cords one night and forgot to plug the heater back in....came in the next morning and didn't realize it until I put my hands in the water. It had dropped from 78 to 70 overnight. I did lose one sexy shrimp as a result, but the other survived. My corals didn't seem bothered at all.


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Old 11/19/2018, 09:55 AM   #7
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Mantis is on the way from KP Aquatics! Will be here tomorrow around noon. Also have a few other things coming...a few snails, red gracilaria, a sexy shrimp, and a bumblebee shrimp from LiveAquaria plus a forest fire digitata from battle corals. I'll add one fish at some point in the near future and that will be all.



Put down reef grade sand that is coarse enough to withstand the turbulent flow. I'm pushing over 1000 GPH through a 14 gallon tank. Everything is doing ok, but the tank was so sterile that the macroalgae died. I have enough nitrate/phosphate in the tank now, but the place where I bought my macroalgae was a seedy LFS with really dirty tanks. Putting that macro in my new, clean tank was too much I guess.


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Old 11/23/2018, 08:18 PM   #8
mndfreeze
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IMO I would at least get a little skimmer. Mantis are such messy eaters and notorious for burying their uneaten food in their lair for a later snack, meaning it fouls up the water fairly quickly.

The oxygenation benefits are also great.

You are adding a sexy shrimp with the mantis?? Aren't you concerned the Hav will eat em? I've only kept a Ternatensis but mine loved other inverts of all sorts. He gobbled up shrimp on a skewer like it was going extinct.


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Old 12/10/2018, 09:13 PM   #9
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yeah the sexy shrimp bailed on me...somehow got into the overflow and I can't get him out....will likely die in there. Sigh, such is life in this hobby.

I might get a skimmer but oxygenation can be improved with macro and surface agitation too. Mantis shrimp are messy eaters but my O. hav is going to be really small and won't need to be fed that much. Most people overfeed their mantis shrimp and I'm going to be careful about that. I have to be since my tank is so small.


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