My tank: 30 gallon JBJ rimless reef


New member
Hello everyone. I am new to the reef world but not fish. I have had a 90g discus tank for two years now along with a 20g planted (dirt substrate) livebearer tank. The 20g planted has been torn down and the fish donated and the 30g put in it's place.

While discus don't need RODI water I have used it the entire time I've had them. I have a 55 gallon drum that fills when I want to do a water change. I branched it off so it can fill another bucket for making saltwater.

Since my tank is rock and water right now I will start off showing you what I've done with my discus.

This is Bandit. When he's ****ed a black bar will show going vertically through his eyes.

<a href="" title="Eruption Leopard Discus by kevitra, on Flickr"><img src="" width="331" height="500" alt="Eruption Leopard Discus"></a>

This is Scorpio, my biggest fish:
<a href="" title="Blue Scorpion Discus by kevitra, on Flickr"><img src="" width="500" height="331" alt="Blue Scorpion Discus"></a>

Peppermint Patty laying eggs:
<a href="" title="Male discus fertilizing eggs by kevitra, on Flickr"><img src="" width="331" height="500" alt="Male discus fertilizing eggs"></a>

Phoebe the cat watching dinner. She is already watching the empty 30g.
<a href="" title="We are not your dinner by kevitra, on Flickr"><img src="" width="331" height="500" alt="We are not your dinner"></a>

<a href="" title="Albino Discus Fish grazing by kevitra, on Flickr"><img src="" width="500" height="331" alt="Albino Discus Fish grazing"></a>

Here is my 30g rockscape so far:

I have 15 pounds of rock from ReefCleaners. I also used 20 pounds of Caribsea Arag Alive Fiji Pink. I know some think live sand is a scam but I can verify that my sand is alive. When I opened the bag it smelled exactly like the dirt from my planted tank. My tank has been running for two days now and we already have a worm friend:

It has 'feelers' on the front and it appears to be sweeping for food. It hasn't moved so I don't know how big it is.
I have also found two pieces of feces - at least that is what it looks like. They are a quarter inch long, black and thin. Pretty much like guppy feces.
I also have some diatoms forming on the bottom of some rocks.

When I was arranging my rock tonight I noticed this at the bottom of one piece:

I don't recall that hole being there. From a side view it's a tube and it is a darker color than the rock.

My plan is to add ten pounds of live rock this Friday. I am debating it because the tank is already starting to cycle on it's own with the sand. I could order or pick up a few more pieces of dry rock and let it go. Opinions?

The lighting will be a Reefbreeders Bridgelux LED light. I was going to move my T5HO 4 bulb fixture (24" bulbs) from my discus tank but I had forgot that the fixture is 30" wide. It looks dumb over the tank so I left it over the 90g (works really well centered) and I will get the LEDs.

To leave off my first post, here is a parasite that was inside one of my discus. I can't wait to see what a reef tank will bring... :)

My maintenance plan is a 5g water change every weekend. I do a 50g change on my discus tank every week so doing another 5 is no big deal. I have an Apex Jr on the discus tank and eventually I will probably add an outlet bar for this tank. The tanks are 15' apart but from what I've read a long USB cable should work fine.

I am looking into DIY ATO units since I know I will need one soon.

I will continually update this thread with my (slow) progress. In two weeks I am leaving on a nine day vacation to the Caribbean so a fish sitter will be watching my discus and this tank's cycle. Once I get back I hope the cycle is complete so I can add something.
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New member
An update:

I added 10 more pounds of dry rock and two pieces of live rock last week. I also added ammonia to get up to 5ppm (I overshot and end up at 8ish). Yesterday the ammonia was around 2ppm and the nitrites bright orange (I don't recall what number) so the cycle has started.

I bought the D120 LED fixture. I was going to go with T5HO lights but the options available all cost $200 plus bulb replacement costs so I am going to try LED. Enough here seem to be having good luck with them.

Blue by kevitra, on Flickr

Untitled by kevitra, on Flickr

I've had some 'fun' with my live rock. I've had a few 'what is this' posts.
75% of people thought this was a majano, 25% an orange ball anemone. Since the majority picked the 'bad' anemone I cut off the piece of rock it was on.

I also have Foraminifera on the rock:

Thanks for looking.
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