First reef tank of a very paranoid person

21 May 2014
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Cape Town
It all started with my first reef meet at the end of May a month after I've moved to Cape Town.

Needless to say within a week I had bought a second hand plug and play. Filled the tank and I'm ashamed to say tried to move it 1cm, needless to say we had a lovely crack all the way down the back panel.

Luckily I got a great quote from sams aquarium and had the tank filled with water and running again in a week and a half. Got some nice hitchickers from base rock I got from members and sponsors. Hitch hickers included some mushrooms, zoas and starfish.

After a month of dosing with special blend,using rock with lots of stuff on it and waiting a month I finally bought 3 snails and two hermits. Four days ago I got a peppermint shrimp and a pulsing xenia.

Here is my paranoia ,since I've gotten the xenia it hasn't opened up and extended like in the LFS? My mushrooms and zoas look great, I've even got a few small mushooms popping up.

I want the tank to be mainly about shrimps and tiny crabs, all the interesting goggas, and then after about a year hopefully a mandarin.

Corals wise I mainly want mushrooms, one or two leathers, polyps and zoas so nothing fancy at all.

My list of inhabitants to be

Pom pom crab
Banggai Cardinal
Porcelain crab
Purple Firefish
Cleaner Shrimp
Red Firefish
Glass Shrimp
Possum wrasse
Fire Shrimp
Peppermint Shrimp
Scooter blenny
Algae blenny

More details
It's a Juwel 180 with a sump that makes the total volume of around 200l.
1m x 400 x 500
Has a ts1 skimmer
A sunsun 300lph wavemaker
2x 200w heaters
Astro powerhead 1900lph in the sump
Then 2x 39w HO T5s , a blue and a white

And then I think my rock pieces are too big, not liking my scape so if anyone can offer some advice please.
Thinking of breaking the rocks into smaller pieces

Thanks everybody
Will post some pictures soon
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Oh...a she...awesome to see so many ladies lately...

Well if water is fine...and lighting good...flow sufficient...then i dont see why xenia wont fully open like you said. But all tanks are different.

Post some pics.
Maybe nutrients arent enough? Xenia flourishes on some nutrients and since there is no fish in yet could be a problem?
welcome ....glad to see all is sorted...agree with dian too....

pics always speak 1000 words too;)
Right had to load all the pics on my laptop first. Thanks for the welcome and words of encouragement!









Went to Merlin and got some lovely mushrooms and a leather, but something is wrong with my white light, will ask the other half when he gets home. I also messed about with the scape after being inspired by Merlin's tank.
Don't judge to hard! :tt2:






The rocks looks like mostly base rock. OK, old and seeded, with a lot of growth on it. They are not that porous, compared to real live rock. I got a lot of them on the bottom of my rock stack. Due to their shape they do give a much more stable platform to build up higher upon than live rock pieces underneath.

The hermit is a local Yellow Tip hermit.

Why is the skimmer not running?
Ok thanks @RiaanP ,bought the hermit from a local LFS . Should I be worried about the hermit?
The skimmer is running.
Icouldn't afford a lot of very nice rock, most of the rock is man made and for now I'm very happy with it. Will add more as time goes on. Any further advice?
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Those yellow tip hermits are the best my opinion. They stay small in relation to other hermits.
Do not tie down a softy with a rubber band
They disintegrate around the band.

Well my sinularia did.
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