So I figured that while this tank was cycling I thought I would throw up a build thread of sorts. As many of you know, I love a species tank and this one will be no different, what will be different will be the extremely low maintenance and low tech set up (for me at least), i will be focusing mainly on Live Rock and a moderate sand bed to act as my biological filtration method and will also use easy to keep invasive corals as a nutrient uptake system. There is a thinking behind this that I will get into later.
Fluval Evo Sea 52 Litres
2x 50W Heaters (Chamber 2)
Stock 14000k Lighting
Stock 520lph Pump
So everything about the tank is and will likely stay stock, except the sponge which I have removed in favour of a DIY Media Rack. I have plugged the hole in the filtration wall and installed the Surface Skimmer the wrong way round so that water falls into my Filter Floss and not trickles down the wall as it would if the surface skimmer was installed the correct way round. (by this I mean the lip is on the filtration side and not within the display tank.) I have also included two heaters for reasons of redundancy, one is set to 78f, the other set to 77f this way if one fails the second can keep the tank heated and the drop in temperature should alert me in case of a failure, both are installed and an Inkbird Controller.
The Cycle was started 01.07.2021 my method of a shrimp in a bag in the read compartment under the filter floss. I have deliberately decided to use this old school method and not use any of the bacteria in a bottle products for a couple of reasons.
1. I want a slow cycle, I am monitoring and logging the temperature of the tank as I have a couple of ideas in mind to alleviate the rise in temperature while keeping the hood and stock lights. Since we are now entering the warmest part of the year i wanted to monitor the evaporation rate and temperature within the tank for as long as possible before adding livestock of any form.
2. Mantis Shrimp notoriously horde food within their burrow and only expel this when it starts to rot. Since I will be feeding the mantis 2 times a week with half a shrimp. Using an entire shrimp to cycle will give me peace of mind that the tank can handle the amount of ammonia produced by half this amount if this ever occurs.
I have decided to only include a specific number and types of soft corals, mainly due to the stock lighting of the Fluval but also because i want to try and replicate some of the indian ocean soft coral flats that primarily include Kenya Tree, Xenia and Finger leathers. All these corals also are considered "weeds" due to their nature of being able to take over an aquarium as they populate quickly. This primarily is due to their ability to utilise Phosphate and Nitrates both of which the tank should have plenty of with the mantis shrimp inhabiting it.
Think of this as a display refugium if you like.
I also have a second tank, where i want to try something a little different with Acropora species but will leave that for the moment as it is an experiement and I need to design and build my oscillator system for my powerhead so that the tank will range from full flow, to standing water to full flow and with everything in between.