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Old 06-02-2010, 02:11 AM   #1
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Advice needed

I'm new to your forum and the hobby. I have my setup running and wanted some advice.
I have a 90 gal Tall corner overflow tank that is built into the wall and gets viewed from both sides.

Tank has a corner overfow that draines to a 40 gal sump with a biobag on the input and a turbo skimmer. Overflows and is sent back via return and a Catalina 5000 in sump pump. No other powerheads except skimmer.

Substrate and Rock
Reading an article online I used 80lbs of play sand and cycled it by itself and filtered for a week then added 40lbs of coralife live sand on top.
I have put down about 40lbs of vulcanic(white holey) rock then about 30lbs of dead live rock then another 100lbs of live rock that I obtained from my LFS. I also purchased a couple of real hard corals that where dead and dried out off ebay that are in the tank.
I have 4 T5 54w Odessa bulbs. 2 are Actinic and 2 are 12000K Daylight. The fixture also has 4 led "moon" bulbs. I have been running my actinics pretty much 24/7 since I put in the LR. Is this a good idea? Do Inverts need dark time? Or the more light the better?
I purchased 10 hermit blue/red crabs and 10 snails at first setup. All the snails died. I'm guessing they couldn't right themselves or they didnt have anything to eat. So I got rid of the corpses and put the shells back in for the crabs. I then purchased 2 yellow damsels that are doing well. A week later I got 10 more crabs and today I added 10 more snails as I am starting to have an algae problem. Today I also started my rock on Seachem's Reef Fusion 1/2 and purple up today.
My water comes from my kitchen 5 stage RO system mixed with Instant ocean blend.

Water levels
Temp: Steady around 78-80 deg
Specific Gravity. 1.023
Nitrate 20ppm
Nitrite 0.1
Alkalinity 300(KH)ppm
Ph 8.2

Am I on the right track? However here are a few questions I have.
1. I am getting a great deal of water loss do to atmosphere. Can I add fresh water to the sump and let mix as the Gravity levels go up when this happens as the salt stays in the water right? Is it safe to just add RO water? How do I handle this?

2. Since there is really nothing in my tank, what do I need to change the water for?

3. How long do I have to wait to get something out of my live rock to start growing? I see little things(Less than 1/4") but they are not growing, or very little.

4. Do I have to buy my anonome's etc or will they eventually come out of the rock?

5. What should I get next?
6. How do you keep your protein skimmer from bubbling out the top all the time. I set it so bubbles go about 1/2 up the cup tube but eventually it ends up going to high and filling the cup. Do I have to reset it several times a day?

You have a great community hear I am really happy I found it and look forward to becoming a part of it.
The picture is b4 I added alot of things along with the live sand. I will try and post some updated pics.

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Old 06-02-2010, 02:12 AM   #2
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Oh my ammonia levels are between 0 and .25.

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Old 06-02-2010, 08:26 AM   #3
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Welcome to AA!

I'll try to answer some of your questions.
1- Yes, only add fresh RO/DI water to make up for any water that evaporated.
2- You need to do water changes. From the levels you posted, your tank is still cycling. You should not have any ammonia or nitrites. Water changes will help lower those levels.
3- It depends on what is on/in the live rock you bought to begin with. Just remember, nothing happens fast in a reef tank except disasters.
4- You may find some pest anemone hitchhickers on your rock, but if you want an anemone that might host clownfish, you have to buy 1.....but not until your tank is a min of 8 months old. You need pristine water quality with stable conditions for an anemone to survive.
5- Nothing. Wait for your tank to finish cycling. Don't rush.
6- What kind of skimmer do you have? Most take a week or so to break in and start working right.

Also, do not run your lights 24/7. Everything needs a period of darkness. You can run moonlights all night if you want.
125g reef
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Old 06-02-2010, 09:35 AM   #4
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I agree with Larry, but: You don't need an anemone. Your light is inadeqate to keep one alive. They live for many, many years in the ocean and usually less than a year in most tanks due to inadequate light, flow, feeding, etc.

The skimmer should not be running during the cycle. What brand/model is it? It could just be overwhelmed right now during the cycle or it may need to be adjusted.

Oh, and

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Old 06-02-2010, 11:23 AM   #5
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My skimmer is a in sump Finnex PS-60 with a 343gph magnetic powerhead.

Also if my lighting is inadequate what do I need to do? I have a 250w MH light that I used to use for vegetative growth on some indoor plants. Do I need something similar for my aquarium?

Whats the best lighting for growing inverts? I spent a great deal of money on this light fixture. Is it completely worthless?

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Old 06-02-2010, 01:16 PM   #6
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Well if your light fixture is the chinese made Oddysea brand I have heard anything good about them except the price. For a deep tank you need much more light (250w - 400w MH or equivalent).

Inverts don't need much light at all, neigher do fish. Corals DO, especially sps (small pollyp stony) corals.

So lighting will depend on what you want to keep. Id you decide to go reef you will need better lighting.

As for the protien skimmer, I found this posting about it on another site:
"I just bought and returned a Finnes PS-60 because it overflowed, leaked, spewed bubles no matter how many adjustments made etc."

That was for a 37gallon tank too, so thiis may be undersized.

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