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Old 12-21-2011, 11:25 PM   #1
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HPballer76's 72 gallon bowfront build. first sw tank.

hello everyone. i just recently got my first saltwater tank setup. it is a 72 gallon bow front with a 20 gallon tall sump. i bought it used, it has been up and running for a couple years. we moved it from the sellers house to mine and used all the water, sand and live rock. its got about a 2 inch sand bed. not really sure how many pounds of live rock it actually has but it seems to be a decent amount. it was running with just a filter sock at the sellers house. i added a reef octopus nwb-150 skimmer.

how long do you guys think it will take to cycle since it was up and running?

it also has 6 hermit crabs that i've seen crawling around so far. it had some kenya trees i think they are but i don't think the survived the move. it has some other things i will have to post some pics of for help on identification.

it also has some hair algae so i'm wanting to at least get a cuc in as soon as i can.

after having it up and running for 3 days at my house the water parameters were

ph- 8.0
salinity- 1.021 should i try to raise this to 1.025?
ammonia- .25ppm
nitrites- 0ppm
nitrates- 5ppm

it has been staying between 82-84 degrees without the heater running? im assuming its the lights it has a diy t5 ho 4 bulb in it. i am planning for it to be fowlr so i was thinking of trying to take out 2 of the bulbs to try to drop the temp? any other ideas?

also stocking ideas for whenever the tank is ready? i want to stick with hardy fish to begin with since this is my first saltwater tank.

pics to come in a little bit!
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Old 12-23-2011, 04:07 PM   #2
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Grats on the new tank!

I bet the ammonia youre seeing is only the live rock die off from the move. I'd keep testing and see if the nitrites rise or not. Other than that you are probably just about ready to go in my opinion.

Does the tank have a canopy for those lights? maybe you can drill a hole and out in a fan. I'd try to get that water temperature down by about 4-5 degrees and find a way to keep it stable. It's odd for T5's to generate such heat though....Is the heater plugged in and just not showing that its turning on? I had a faulty heater who's light never came on but still heated my tank to almost 90 degrees before I figured it out and unplugged it.

Your fish choices and lights will be determined by if you want corals or not. If you don't want corals you could easily take out 2 of the 4 bulbs and then you could get just about any fish appropriate for your size tank as you won't have to worry about them eating corals. also, did you want a happy friendly tank, a semi aggressive tank or straight out aggressive?
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Old 12-23-2011, 04:08 PM   #3
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No one has any advice? Along with the hermits I have also found a small starfish and some kind of snail.

I got the temp down to 76.6 by lowering the temp in my house 4 degrees and removing the hood and lights. I will place that back on tomorrow and see if it goes back up. If it does I will be in search of new lighting.

Water tests as of today

Ph- 8.0
Salinity- 1.021
Ammo- .25ppm
Nitrite- 0ppm
Nitrate- 10ppm

So based on those should I do a pwc or leave it alone for now?
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Old 12-23-2011, 04:19 PM   #4
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thanks for the reply carey! i was typing that one as you replied.

as far as the lights go they are attached right to the hood. ill try to get some pics up here in a few hours. i think i am going to unhook 2 of them and see what happens. i think the main problem was the room temp. i pulled one of the glass thermometers out of the tank and it was 78 in the room! the thermostat was set to 70 so i dropped that down to 66 in the house and that got the room with the tank in it down to 72 so im hopping that was the problem. i'm going to put the hood and lights back on in a little bit and see if the temp will stay at 76. if it doesn't i'm going to look into other lighting options.

as far as the friendly or aggressive tank. i'm not really sure. the only fish i really want is a flame angel, after that i would like to have a pair of clowns and maybe a kole yellow eye tang. so im open to suggestions on anything that can live with those.

i don't want corals, just fish. although i think there are a few corals in the tank already. ill try to get some pics of those. i only have my iphone for pics lol.
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Old 12-23-2011, 04:24 PM   #5
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Some of my tanks are at 80 degrees, but as long as it's stable is the key. If you can keep your tank at 78-79 and it stays that way it's much better than it swinging from 76-80.

With the fish you mentioned you're basically looking at a friendly tank. lol the kole tang is an awesome fish and the will get along fine with the others you mentioned. The angel would be the only problem if you do have corals, it may nip at them from time to time, it's not a definite but entirely possible.

Yep, post some pictures, good ones or bad they are all good!! Like to see what corals you may have already and see how tank and lights are setup.
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Old 12-23-2011, 09:51 PM   #6
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alright yeah friendly is what i was thinking. i would love to do an aggressive tank but i want to stick to the easier to care for fish for a while till i get the hang of saltwater.

hopefully everyone likes lots of pics cause this thread is going to be filled with them of basically everything i get for the tank lol.

enough talking. on to some pics.


the tank at the sellers house.


my new reef octopus skimmer.

test fitting it into the 20g high i am using for a sump.

getting all the panels in for my sump/refugium.

leak testing the refugium section.

got the tank setup at my house.

the sump in and running.
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Old 12-23-2011, 09:53 PM   #7
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then it was off to the lfs to pick up a test kit, algae scraper, and digital thermometer.


the tank as it sits right now without the hood on.

it looks kinda small on that wall. i think im going to keep an eye on craigslist for a 6ft tank

more pics to come in a little while! don't judge the rock work. it is just set in there. i'm hoping to rearrange it tomorrow.

and incase anyone is wondering about my build experience. this is what i built before i started on this tank.

HPballer76's s13 hatch w/s14 sr20 - Zilvia.net Forums | Nissan 240SX (Silvia) and Z (Fairlady) Car Forum
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Old 12-23-2011, 10:40 PM   #8
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I want your canopy! Can't wait to see this build progress. I'm doing a near identical setup except with a 20 long.
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Old 12-24-2011, 01:44 PM   #9
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really? i'm not sure how much i like it lol. but anyways, here are some pics of the hood and lighting. so far i have been able to keep the thank at a steady 76.5 with the lights off. going to turn them back on today and see what happens.

the hood and my little helper, nikki. she had to sneak in a couple pics.


the lights.

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Old 12-24-2011, 05:35 PM   #10
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can anyone help me identify whats already in the tank? here are some pics.


when the lights are off this guy tends to come out of the rock a little further.


theres a few of these in the tank.





there was quite a few of these but i think most of them died during the move.
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