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Old 01-28-2012, 08:58 AM   #1
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Gary's first dip in the salt (build/journal thread)

Hello again..

So, it's been a while since I posted anything on here, but there hasn't really been any progress regarding the tank, apart from acquiring all the necessities.

Anyways, I have finally reached what I've been waiting for, and now I have 200l of saltwater mixing, it has been sitting in the waterbutt for a day now with a heater turned up to 26C, and a 750gph powerhead it's at 35ppt or 1.025sg at the moment. I'm going to let it mix for another full day, then I'm off to the LFS to get the live rock and start cycling the tank... I must say it's been a while since I've been so excited about something

On the picture front I haven't got much I'm afraid apart from a shot of the tank that was taken with my iFashionacessory, so excuse the quality.. Once I have the tank set up with everything I'm gonna bring a proper camera home and upload some good quality images...

Ps.: I've decided to try and go towards a reef setup from the start so the lights I ended up going with are 6 39w T5 HO bulbs (3 14k reef whites and 3 blue plus' both from iQatics which is a local company) with ind.reflectors, hence having to wait a bit longer to start setting everything up..



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More updates are coming up soon!

Thanks again for the help with starting out!
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Old 01-28-2012, 08:59 AM   #2
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Sorry, I had to start a new thread, as I haven't been able to find a way to move my existing one...
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Old 01-28-2012, 12:32 PM   #3
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Great start
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Old 01-28-2012, 12:33 PM   #4
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Its a start! I'll be following along.
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Old 01-30-2012, 01:40 PM   #5
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So, I got the rock (about 50lb Indonesian live rock and 10-15lb base rock) and sand in the tank... It's a "bit" murky at the moment, but it should settle in a day or two I think...

Here's a wee update..



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Old 01-30-2012, 02:31 PM   #6
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Nice should clear up fairly quick.
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Old 01-31-2012, 12:14 PM   #7
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So the sand has settled more or less.. Good enough to turn equipment on again anyways...

I tested the water today as well to see how everything is after the first three days and the results are:

PH: 7.8 (possible because the powerheads were off yesterday due to the sand, so there was hardly any surface agitation)

Ammonia: 0.50ppm (I haven't dosed with pure ammonia or put anything in the tank as a source, so this is die off from the LR I think) I'm gonna see for the next couple of days if there's enough die off to get the cycle going, or if I'll need to dose..

Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 0ppm

Are these tests alright?

Again, this is my first go at a SW tank, so if I'm doing anything wrong please point it out to me..

Thank you!

As for an update, here's a few shots of the now clear tank..



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Old 01-31-2012, 03:43 PM   #8
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It seems like your tests are right if you have a bit of die-off from your live rock. It took me 2 days with a shrimp (my ammonia source) for any ammonia to show up during my cycle.
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Old 01-31-2012, 04:02 PM   #9
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Thanks Carissa, I think I'll be going with using a shrimp myself as I couldn't find any pure ammonia with no added chemicals...

Another thing, I noticed that a sort of film has formed on the top of the water that I can't seem to get rid of even with pointing the powerheads at the surface... I don't have a sump and use a canister filter, so I think the lack of an overflow could be the cause... My question is, does this cause any harm? And is there a way to get rid of it without an overflow?

Thank you all very much for the input...
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Old 01-31-2012, 04:16 PM   #10
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Yeah I had the same film I believe it was from the substrate it was gone after a few days.
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Old 01-31-2012, 04:19 PM   #11
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Great to know Erik! Thanks.. I'll see how it goes and I'm sure it will disappear, I'm just being a wee bit overly worried about everything probably as this is my first go at an SW setup...
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Old 01-31-2012, 07:53 PM   #12
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Just found two Christmas tree worm type things... I'll pit a pic of them up here on e I get a good shot.. There's one green and one red...

This really is as exciting and interesting as I thought!
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Old 01-31-2012, 08:10 PM   #13
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Yeah. As worried at first as well. Just got my first build over with and it was quite fun. Ready for number two.
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Old 01-31-2012, 08:17 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garystrain
Great to know Erik! Thanks.. I'll see how it goes and I'm sure it will disappear, I'm just being a wee bit overly worried about everything probably as this is my first go at an SW setup...
Agreed. I was so freaked out when I first started. Like everything is so much more fragile in saltwater.
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Old 01-31-2012, 08:24 PM   #15
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Yes I took many more precautionary steps in setting up my tank compared to my freshwater tanks.
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:48 PM   #16
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That's exactly how I feel rebelyeller89... I'm sure I'll get used to things though..

Not much news today, apart from realizing that my ph is low because of the cycle probably.. Apparently the cycle process lowers ph, so I read... Is that right? It's at 7.8 now and has been that way for two days now.. At first it was 8.4, and the saltwater I still have from first filling the tank is at 8.4 as well..

Oh here's the pics of the feather duster/Christmas tree worms(?)



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It's probably hard to make them out, but they're there!
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Old 02-14-2012, 01:53 PM   #17
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Hello again... Here's a bit of an update on how things are progressing!

So... I think everything is in good order, the cycle is going well, and I found plenty of critters that came with the live rock.

There are red, green, pink Christmas tree worms, all sorts of sand dwelling worms, couple of barnacle like creatures living inside the rocks (sometimes I see their "fans"? Going in and out of the rock quite fast), I saw a chiton the other night crawling across one of the rocks, pods, I have purple, orange, red and green coralline algae growing as well.

Now for the bad hitchhikers..
I saw a clear anemone looking creature last night, and when I turned on the light to have a clearer look it slowly retracted back inside a piece of rock so I'm thinking it's aiptasia. Would injecting it with boiling water work?

As for others... I have no idea what they are so if anyone would be able to identify them for me I'd be very grateful.

First off I have this yellowish patch growing on two rocks, and I've no idea what it could be... Maybe cyano?



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Then I have this purple algae(?) growing on a couple of rocks which I'm guessing could be turf algae, but again.. I'm not sure, so if someone would be able to help, I'd really appreciate that.



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On another rock it looks like actual plants with stems etc.



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Apart from all that there's nothing else new apart from that I'm planning on adding a sump in the very near future...

It'll be located in a separate cabinet/cupboard next to the tank itself, as the cabinet it sits on at the moment won't fit one. I'm planning a 2ft tank divided up to inlet/skimmer -> fuge/dsb -> return/heater/canister(1250lph) running carbon, phosguard and purigen.

I'm planning to install a 2000lph overflow box and I'll be using a 2600lph return pump matched to the flow of the overflow.

What do you think? Would this be good for a 200l/55 gal tank? Is the flow rate good at 2000lph? Or should it be more/less?

Thanks everybody, and have a lovely day/evening.
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Old 02-14-2012, 01:55 PM   #18
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Ps.:

Forgot about thus one...



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FTS of the now re-scaped tank... Any opinions? I think it looks better now...

Sorry about the darkness, I'm still taking photos on my iPhone, and that's the only way to take a decent enough shot because of the brightness of the lights...
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