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Old 08-31-2006, 07:47 PM   #21
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tank looks great, about how many critters came with all that rock, and i dont just mean the tiny ones, but noticable ones.

also what are you doing with the mantis you find? killing them or selling them? (i wont judge, id think they'd be a blight on my tank)

im thinking of doing a tank similar to yours eventually, is it alright to ask about how much it'd cost without the coral and moonlights (is that what the blue lights are im sure)
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Old 08-31-2006, 08:18 PM   #22
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A LOT of critters, a lot of good ones to. Stars, corals, Snails, A lot of nice feathers.....

I am trying to find someone to take the mantis and hopefully it will be 2 by Saturday.

Well, I have not added up the exact cost yet, however a rough guess I know I have spent around $1100-$1200 on everything including the little stuff like salt, refractometer, sand, 5 gal buckets, than the tank and stand, skimmer, 192 watt Coralife Lunar light, LR+Shipping, Aqua Gloves, Test Kits, light timer, Power Heads......It does add up but I bought all the equip. over 2 months.
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Old 09-04-2006, 12:36 AM   #23
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Well, things have not been doing to good.(day 7) I had at least 2-3 Mantis and I only caught 1. I basically killed all my rock with long freshwater dips but I could not take it anymore. Anyhow, I believe the Mantis is not alive in the tank. I feel really bad but I did not know what else to do. I spent 7 long days trying to find them. I gave the one I captured to an LFS.

As of today the tank has basically started over with the cycle. My Bak Pak 2 is running and I like it much better than the CSS. I also decided to go without the glass top.

Now, I have to make sure that the tank is cycling AGAIN, and if not add a piece of shrimp I hope things go better from here. My experience with LR has been misrable with bad hitchikers but I think it can only get better now.
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Old 09-05-2006, 12:49 AM   #24
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Progress

Well here is what is happening. I am feeling much better now that the Mantis stress is over. Unfortunately I killed off a ton of life. I plan on getting some LS along with a cleanup crew and hopefully that will help. Maybe even a few lbs. of cured LR from the LFS before I add fish. Anything else that I need that I should now buy? ex. cleaner worms???

The Bak PaK skimmer is working great as the pic. shows. I do have some bubbles coming in from the return hose but I think if I bring the water line right to the top this will go away.

The amonia was off the charts today as I start my cycle AGAIN. I think there should be enough die off from the LR to produce the amonia instead of a cocktail shrimp. Agree?

Concerns:

A good amount of condensation builds up on the plastic shield of my light. Is this going to be ok? I went without a lid. I will be getting eggcrate soon, however I will still have this condensation.

I notice peoples tanks are stacked up the back wall and there is sand space in the middle. I don't have this and I am sure I want a blenny when I add fish. Is this ok? I will probably rescape but I don't have a lot of room.

GFCI---Many people use them. Is this a must in S/W? What connects to it, just equip. that has wires touching water such as, skimmer, PH, heater?

Thanks and I will keep you updated.
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Old 09-05-2006, 09:32 PM   #25
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Glad the mantis stuff is over. LS will help with your cycle too and maybe give you some of those "cleaner worms".

As long as the condensation is on the outside of the plastic shield and not on the inside you are fine. I get some buildup on mine too. Raising the water line and preventing splashing at the surface should help.

I stack my rock in the middle too and not on the back wall. Works fine for me. I also use a surge protector to plug everything in. I don't really know about GFCI and stuff. Sorry.

Tank is looking good!!
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Old 09-06-2006, 12:58 AM   #26
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Now that everything is cycling ok, I want to begin to think about the fun part! I am a few weeks away I am sure but I want to have a plan. The water has cleared up nicely since the addition of the skimmer.

First I am going to add a clenup crew when the cycle ends which will be a combo of snails, hermits, and stars. I like a suggestion I read by Austinsdad to start out adding half the reccomendation so that they have enough food.

For fish all I know I want now are 2 Ocellaris Clowns, 1 Lawnmower Blenny, and 1 Blood fire Shrimp. Is this ok? Which should go first and at what pace? How many small fish can I add all together once my tank is healthy?

2nd, is there any hardy coral I can add when I am done cycling just to get some color in the tank? I have 192 watts of PC over 30 gal.

3rd...I have about 45-48 lbs. of LR. How do you all have LR stacked all the way up the back? Many of you must have more than 1.5 per gal. What is the most LR I could put in my 30 before the weight is to much?
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Old 09-07-2006, 05:42 PM   #27
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Hey Mike. Sounds as if the tank is coming along great!

My own personal suggestion would be to scratch the hermits, or limit their numbers. Why? They love to eat snails! Mine are just big bullys, and they knock over EVERYTHING! My 8 blue legged hermits and one scarlet hermit consumed 35 nassarius snails over the course of about 4 months or so. Like said, just my personal opinion. Brittle stars (surprised you didn't get any with your LR) are a good started, and I love nassarius snails. You can get a huge amount on ebay for cheap, that's how I got mine. cmmarine I think was the user ID.

Your stocking list sounds identical to what I have. 2 O. clowns and a lawnmower blenny. My advice is to hold off on the blenny. They really need mature tanks and lots of liverock to graze on. I would add the clowns first and see how they do. After a few (months) add the blenny. I would think the shrimp would be fine to add soon after the clowns.

About the corals, zooanthids are a great starter coral and they look good too. I would start off with some softies before moving on to LPS or SPS. Give it a few weeks before you add your first coral, make sure everything is well with the tank.

I don't know about the LR. I have the opposite problem where I need more rock!

HTH. Can't wait for updated pics.
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Old 09-08-2006, 01:12 AM   #28
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New Water Parameters

The cycling has made good progress since Saturday's readings of off the chart amonia alone.

Today, Friday 9-8-06

Amonia 5.0
Nitrite 0.5
Nitrate 2.5
PH 8.2

I hope by next week amonia drops more. I am going to buy a few more pieces of cured LR Saturday and I will post pics.
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Old 09-09-2006, 01:01 AM   #29
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Today I went to my LFS and they had some really nice LR covered in coraline algae.

I only bought about 4 lbs. worth of little pieces and covered the existing LR that I damaged with my Mantis hunt. Hopefully the coraline spreads. I am hopefully going back tomorrow to get a big piece that I like. The LR is $8 per lb. but it is nice. I noticed that it is much lighter than the stuff I got.

I am waiting for a response on whether I can fill my Bak Pak 2 with LR rubble. Since it is the reef model with no media I don't see why I can not fill it with rubble since it is great filtration. I also added more sand tonight so I will post a pic tomorrow when it clears up of the new LR.

Hopefully if a newbie reads this thread they will learn not to panick when they have a Mantis or two and destroy all the LR like I did.

I also had a problem with my CPR Bak Pak 2 releasing bubbles into the tank from the return line. I put an Aqua Clear sponge made for their HOB's in the return line and it took care of the bubbles.
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Old 09-10-2006, 12:26 AM   #30
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Glad you got the problems fixed Mike. I see no reason why you can't pur rubble into the skimmer, but I could be wrong. Hows the cycle coming? Is any of the life on the rock coming back?
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