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Old 06-16-2012, 11:47 PM   #1
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Ice Man's 30 gallon reef build.

I am starting my very first salt water tank. It is kind of on a budget thing. I would never do it, but my friend sold me a tank, stand and 200W light for $50. Another friend gave me hob protein skimmer (without a pump).
So here is my equipment:
30gallon tank
10 gallon DIY refugium
200w heater
Hob skimmer with Rio Venturi 600
2x98W power compact light
2 aqueon circulation pumps, 500 and 700.
One power head for return from sump/refugium.
100gpd 6stage RODI (kind of a disappointment)

It all started couple of months ago. This time around I am not in a hurry, how I was with my fw tanks. I took my time to research and buy equipment.
About a week ago I filled tank with water, yesterday added 20lb of live sand. Tomorrow I will get another 20lb of sand and 35lb of live rock. Some of that sand will go into refugium.
Here are some pictures of how I got to this point...
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Old 06-16-2012, 11:49 PM   #2
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looks like your well on your way . good job on that canopy . looks killer
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Old 06-16-2012, 11:57 PM   #3
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Love the PVC overflow and DIY sump. I also did this. The PVC overflow is amazing and never loses suction. Good job, look forward to seeing this progress!
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Old 06-17-2012, 12:22 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d.dog_fletcher
looks like your well on your way . good job on that canopy . looks killer
Canopy was very first thing I have ever built. I am still looking for handle.
Will take some pictures tomorrow of the whole thing.
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Old 06-17-2012, 12:43 AM   #5
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Looks like you have a good start! Patience is key, keep it up!
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Old 06-17-2012, 01:13 AM   #6
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More than 24h after adding live sand water is still cloudy. When I turn on circulation pumps it only makes it worse kicking up a lot of sand. Is that normal? Protein skimmer is not working yet because I had to make some last minute adjustments using silicone. Water return from the skimmer was about 5 inches above water level so I installed couple of pipes for water to flow quietly right into refugium.
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Old 06-17-2012, 01:32 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ice Man
More than 24h after adding live sand water is still cloudy. When I turn on circulation pumps it only makes it worse kicking up a lot of sand. Is that normal? Protein skimmer is not working yet because I had to make some last minute adjustments using silicone. Water return from the skimmer was about 5 inches above water level so I installed couple of pipes for water to flow quietly right into refugium.
Sand can take 3-4 days to settle honestly. Mine did Anyhow. Shouldn't be a big deal because you need 3weeks to a month to cycle it anyhow.

Your skimmer isn't going to clean it up because it is not organic waste. Just FYI, a dirty skimmer works best. Can't explain why. Give it a week or two to start pulling organics.

How are you cycling?
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Old 06-17-2012, 02:28 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Readingexcalibur

Sand can take 3-4 days to settle honestly. Mine did Anyhow. Shouldn't be a big deal because you need 3weeks to a month to cycle it anyhow.

Your skimmer isn't going to clean it up because it is not organic waste. Just FYI, a dirty skimmer works best. Can't explain why. Give it a week or two to start pulling organics.

How are you cycling?
I am not sure about cycling. I am getting 35lb of established live rock from someone's tank. Do I still need to wait 4 weeks to cycle? I am not in a hurry so there is no problem here.
Also, what kind of clean up crew do I need? When can I add them?
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Old 06-17-2012, 02:52 AM   #9
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You still need to cycle. It it will be much faster. Either add ammonia or a raw shrimp. Once your amm and trite levels hit zero you should be ready to go.
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Old 06-17-2012, 03:37 AM   #10
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You need to cycle a tank. The purpose of this is to create beneficial bacteria that ultimately turns ammonia in nitrite, and nitrite in nitrate.

Ammonia and nitrite is extremely deadly to fish. And you should never add a fish if you have either of these. You should consider buying a liquid test kit, infact, you need one.

Buy 1 medium raw shrimp from the grocery store. Put it in your tank for a week. It will start to decay. Pull it out because now your ammonia will be around 4-5ppm (parts per million). Then leave the tank alone for a few weeks. Make sure you are running your filter and heater during this time.

Eventually your nitrites will raise and your ammonia will go down. The about a week to two the trites will go down and your nitrates will rise. At this time do a 50% water change. Only when you are reading 0ppm on ammonia and nitrite should you add fish. Otherwise you will kill any fish or coral you put in there.

Some people do this with really hardy fish. Most fish don't make it past the cycle, however a few do. This is bad because it is the equivalent to you inhaling exhaust from your car. It's abuse and should not happen.

Good luck, hope this helps, if you already knew this, sorry for the redundancy. Good luck
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