Caulerpa taxifolia macro-algae and more...

I introduced the Caulerpa taxifolia macro-algae to the set-up a few days ago. Macro algae are well know for their ability to uptake NO3 and PO4 and they look great in my opinion.2nd photo; This algae grows very fast indeed. After just two days, this Caulerpa sp. is sending out long runners with new "leaves" (since macro algae are unicellular, they actually have no leaves). One thing is to be done regularly with macro algae though...pruning.

I am very satisfied with my rock-work. The scape provides many crevices and platforms for Coral placing. The live rock was already cured for 4 weeks before being added to my nano tank, nice and clean. All rocks contain a fair amount of "purple" (Mesophyllum) and red (Peyssonnelia) calcareous Coraline algae.
The rock-work,
And since my Ammonia and NO2 is constantly at 0ppm and the NO3 is rising slowly (now at 20ppm), I can say only one thing...nitrifying bacteria is already present inside this aquarium. By adding Pro Cult, living sand, precured (clean) live rock and Caulerpa algae, this portable Eco-system didn't have much trouble taking off. This tank didn't go through the Cycling process, because I used the "jump starting" method. I am aware that many reefers wouldn't agree with me saying this, but time will tell, and I am going to up-date this blog accordingly.
NOTE; I am not advising inexperienced reefers to do as mentioned above. One should wait for approx 3-4 weeks (test for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate first) for the nitrogen cycle to happen, before adding any live stock. Only someone with years of experience can successfully start an aquarium in short time by using "Jump Starting" cycling method. New reefers, it is important not to rush things in the beginning. Take it slowly, and you will be reworded with a long lasting, stunning reef tank. Note; Ocean is billion of years OLD. It takes time.

And for the reason Caulerpa is a nutrient hungry algae, I added 2 Blue legged Hermit Crabs, 2 "Grey" legged Hermit Crabs, 2 Astrea snails and 5 Mitra sp. snails, that are grazing all over the tank. I also added a few extra shells, and the crabs are using them already. As soon my shop get the Red legged Hermits in, I will swap them with my existing ones.
Mitra sp. snail;
Cyclops female with eggs...extra food for my reef life;
Koralia Nano 900 l/h working well;
Hydor Bio Flow, rotating and directing the water flow in all directions. Great device! It is connected to the Maxi Jet 680 l/h.


The tank is running

For the record;
Living rock, sand (living and dead) + Pro Cult bacteria culture and 50 liters of water are added today. Pumps are working, as well as the skimmer. Lights will be on for 12 hours a day. I will perform no water change during this cycling period.
Photo update coming soon...


The Big start

This 58 L aquarium (Clownfisk Hotell by Imazo) is equipped with a 1000 l/h skimmer, 2 x 18 Watt Blue-white 10000K compact fluorescent lights (+reflectors), heater, Moonlight, UV-light 8 Watt and 2 fans for cooling the lights.
I added 2 extra pumps for a better circulation;
1 Koralia Nano 900 l/h power head,
1 Maxi-Jet PH 680 l/h power head with an extra Hydor Bio Flow rotating out-let,

I am getting approx 6 kg of (precured) liverock at Thursday. I will arrange the rocks first and then top up with 1-2mm coral sand, about 1 cm deep. I will also sprinkle some living sand over the new one (transporting liverock and live sand will take no more than 15 minutes).
I am taking the aged water from my 700 liters shop coral aquarium, that is controlled by my manager (very knowledgeable guy).
After I fill it in I will set the temp to 25´Celsius, and get the pumps to "rock". The lights are on the timer, 12 hours a day.
I will also add the living bacteria culture (doesn't cost much, staff price ) from Amtra Pro Cult , similar to Biospira. This will run for two weeks like this. After 2 weeks are over I will perform my first 20% water change.

I was thinking to introduce Feather Caulerpa algae first, on one side of the tank. I know it propagates fast but would prune it often. I am aware how important role macro algae play in a reef system. Starting with 6 Astrea Snails first (after 2 weeks that is).
Will wait one week, perform 5% water change, and add 5-6 Red legged Hermit Crabs. Again after a week, 5% water change and adding 2-3 Peppermint Shrimps. I believe some Glass Anemones will start growing, so let the shrimps take care of it. No feeding of course.

Week after 5% water change and two Ocellaris will be added. I will start feeding with frozen Artemia. Will let it run like this for a week or two, before I start adding corals.

Corals I will try growing are;
Top center - Euphyllia glabrescens - very aggressive coral if left to grow too close to the others, will keep it "short".
Mid-level - Zooanthus sp. , Turbinaria, Caulastrea, Lobophyllia (will be placed on the opposite side of the power head protected by the living-rock, away from direct current).
Bottom part - Green Star Polyps (Clavularia viridis) on right corner exposed to direct light, Caulerpa algae on the opposite side, in the centre - Trachyphyllia, Fungia, Blastomussa wellsi and Cynarina. If I create a cave inside the living rock I will place one Tubastarea in it since it doesn't require lots of light (will target feed it very often)

I will do monthly 20% water change.