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Old 02-26-2006, 09:10 PM   #1
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The 46-gallon chronicles!

OK, I am going to chronicle my progress in setting up my new saltwater aquarium! Don't know if anyone is interested or not, but it seems most people on this forum enjoy seeing the progress of an aquarium as much as I do!

Picture 1: This is my first tank setup. It is a 10-gallon that I intended to eventually become my quarantine. As you can see, I have been massively struggling with algae. It is coating the glass and all the rocks! It came to my attention last week that my city water supply has up to 20 ppm nitrate!!! No wonder I can't keep the algae under control! Anyhow, this was my initial setup.

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Picture 2: OK! Next up. I tore apart the 10-gallon, removed the rock for a few minutes while I scrubbed the glass and vacuumed all the crushed coral. It was so cool to see all the little critters crawling around in the crushed coral that came from my rock!

I also performed almost a 50% water change, and replaced it with reverse osmosis water. I thought I had the water heated up to the appropriate temperature, but I noticed it fell about 3 degrees! I hope that doesn't hurt me too bad!

I moved the 46-gallon setup into place, and then moved the QT tank into the base of the stand for the 46. Time will tell if that was an intelligent move. There is room, but it is a little tighter than I had hoped. Maybe one day I can turn it into my sump and put a new QT tank in my bedroom or something.

Anyhow, you can see how much cleaner the 10-gallon is, and my coral beauty seems to have transitioned well...he is in much cleaner water with much cleaner surroundings...I hope he does well!!!

So my aquarium is still empty, but the equipment is on the way, and I will update this as I get new equipment, rock, etc! Don't worry, the next pictures will be closer up, this was just to give you an idea of the difference!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg setup_1_194.jpg (144.8 KB, 41 views)
File Type: jpg setup_2_166.jpg (135.5 KB, 22 views)
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Old 02-26-2006, 10:32 PM   #2
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Wow! Nice improvment! When are you going to get it up and running? Are you going to make it a reef or FOWLR?
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Old 02-26-2006, 10:57 PM   #3
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I plan FOWLR...maybe one day I will attempt a reef, but I'm going to take it nice and slow...not to mention my budget won't allow for reef right now! I should have all my equipment by the end of next week, so I'm hoping to get my live rock in a couple weeks, then curing...mid April before I'm up and running with fish?

I am kicking myself now for not making sure that the temperatures were the same. That's what I get for using 2 separate thermometers instead of using the same one to make sure they were the same! I'm pretty sure the tank temp dropped 3 degrees. My Coral Beauty seemed a little bit stressed to me, and was definitely hanging around by the heater. Perhaps it is a combination of the the temperature drop and his new surroundings. I turned his light off to help him relax a bit...and 20 minutes later, he seems to have calmed down. He is still making trips over to the heater, but it seems to me he is looking for algae now that I watch more closely. He used to always nip off the glass, but now that the glass is clean, he is searching for it elsewhere.

So far so good...
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38 Gallon (Freshwater): 1 Green Swordtail, 3 Yo-Yo Loaches, 1 Clown Pleco, 1 Blue Gourami, 4 Otocinclus, 7 Cherry Barbs.

46 Gallon (Saltwater): 60 pounds Lalo Live Rock, 60 pounds aragonite sand, 1 Coral Beauty Angelfish, 1 Peppermint Shrimp, 1 Mushroom Coral, 1 Emerald Crab, various snails and hermit crabs.

10 Gallon (Saltwater quarantine):
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Old 03-01-2006, 01:47 AM   #4
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Got equipment today!!! My filter, heater, and powerheads all showed up, and I have tentatively placed them tonight. I have no experience with powerheads, and so I am not sure if I'll need to move them or redirect them. I'd like to hide my heater behind my live rock when I get it, also the bottom half of the filter intake. Now just waiting on the skimmer so I can make sure I have enough space behind my tank (I will be going HOB), so that I can move the aquarium where I want it, and then water will start going in!!!
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File Type: jpg setup_3_649.jpg (142.4 KB, 19 views)
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38 Gallon (Freshwater): 1 Green Swordtail, 3 Yo-Yo Loaches, 1 Clown Pleco, 1 Blue Gourami, 4 Otocinclus, 7 Cherry Barbs.

46 Gallon (Saltwater): 60 pounds Lalo Live Rock, 60 pounds aragonite sand, 1 Coral Beauty Angelfish, 1 Peppermint Shrimp, 1 Mushroom Coral, 1 Emerald Crab, various snails and hermit crabs.

10 Gallon (Saltwater quarantine):
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Old 03-01-2006, 02:14 AM   #5
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Sweet....

What kinda lights you got going on?
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Old 03-07-2006, 08:37 PM   #6
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All right! I do believe that my aquarium is finally ready for rock! I am quite excited right now! I haven't completely decided yet, but I thought I might go with 60 pounds of the Select Lalo Rock from LiveAquaria.com. I was interested in it when I saw it on the website, and then when clexman posted his pictures, I was even more impressed! That would be about 1-1/4 pounds per gallon, which I think will give me a very nice display.

The water is still a tiny bit cloudy and the color of the light seems a bit too white to me, but I assume that will change as I get the rock in and settled. The whitish light is probably from reflecting off the sand and glass with nothing in the tank to absorb it. I believe, ryguy, that it is a regular fluorescent bulb that came with the package, which should work OK for just fish and crabs and snails, etc.

So anyway, the skimmer is up and running (Coralife Super Skimmer), the water is the right temp (78.5), and the powerheads are giving me a good circular water flow...I'll have to potentially adjust once the rock goes in, but here we are! Rock should be in on Friday, and I'll have more pics!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg setup_4_811.jpg (116.6 KB, 16 views)
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38 Gallon (Freshwater): 1 Green Swordtail, 3 Yo-Yo Loaches, 1 Clown Pleco, 1 Blue Gourami, 4 Otocinclus, 7 Cherry Barbs.

46 Gallon (Saltwater): 60 pounds Lalo Live Rock, 60 pounds aragonite sand, 1 Coral Beauty Angelfish, 1 Peppermint Shrimp, 1 Mushroom Coral, 1 Emerald Crab, various snails and hermit crabs.

10 Gallon (Saltwater quarantine):
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Old 03-10-2006, 05:54 PM   #7
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The rock is in! I ordered 60 pounds of Select Lalo Live Rock from LiveAquaria.com. You can see in the first picture what I got. I was very unhappy when I first opened the boxes, as I had specifically requested multiple pieces in lighter weights. Instead, I open the boxes and find a 23-pound rock and a 7-pound rock. I open the next box to find...a 30-pound rock! Not only would aquascaping be dull with 3 whole rocks, this 30-pounder is pretty boring. I attempted to chisel at it, but unsuccessfully.

So I called LiveAquaria to ask them what I could do. I was impressed! They were very concerned with my satisfaction and apologized profusely. They told me that my request for smaller rocks had not been transmitted to the shipping facility, and so they would fix it for me. I decided to keep the first box because once cleaned up, I was actually very happy with it. However, I am going to have the huge 30-pound rock replaced. They are sending out an RMA for me, and I should have a new box with smaller pieces next week. I put the 30-pound rock inside my aquarium to keep it wet...just because I am not going to keep it doesn't mean I should ship it back to them dead, right?

Anyway, the second picture is of the 23-pound rock I am keeping. Once I scrubbed most of the black parts off and cleaned it up, I was amazed with how beautiful it is! There are caves in the back for the fish to hide, and the left side of the rock will lend perfectly to a cave from the front of the aquarium to the back. More pics of the aquascape next week when I get my box of smaller pieces!!!
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File Type: jpg setup_6_192.jpg (237.9 KB, 21 views)
File Type: jpg setup_5_602.jpg (237.9 KB, 20 views)
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Old 03-10-2006, 06:30 PM   #8
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i really like the look of that rock. youve convinced me to get some when i upgrade, thanks. i really like your tank, it looks good so far!
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Old 03-17-2006, 08:20 PM   #9
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OK! I received my new box of rock yesterday. After hours and hours of frustrating aquascaping, I do believe I have it! I had it all set up and then I realized that the base rocks were sitting only buried an inch into the 3-inch deep sand. I do intend to have snails and crabs and possibly even a goby, so I figured it would be too dangerous to leave it that way. I dug the rocks into the sand until I was sure they were resting on the glass, then it took me another 2 hours!!! I am pleased with the result, especially my large cavern in the middle! What do you think?

Cycle is in full swing, although I'm getting a pretty serious nitrite spike now...am going to do a water change later tonight.

Paul
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38 Gallon (Freshwater): 1 Green Swordtail, 3 Yo-Yo Loaches, 1 Clown Pleco, 1 Blue Gourami, 4 Otocinclus, 7 Cherry Barbs.

46 Gallon (Saltwater): 60 pounds Lalo Live Rock, 60 pounds aragonite sand, 1 Coral Beauty Angelfish, 1 Peppermint Shrimp, 1 Mushroom Coral, 1 Emerald Crab, various snails and hermit crabs.

10 Gallon (Saltwater quarantine):
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Old 03-17-2006, 08:36 PM   #10
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Looks nice! Those rocks are good and stable? Photos can be decieving but the top rocks looks like they are barely touching anything.
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