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Old 12-04-2006, 06:03 PM   #1
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My First SW Tank - Build Thread

Hi,

I just wanted to introduce myself as this my first post at this site and I have just started my first SW tank.

Here is a breakdown of what I have and what I have done to date:

Tank: Tenecor 50g flat back hex
Filtration: Tenecor's Simplicity Plus (see attached dia.)
Protein Skimmer: Red Sea Berlin Air Lift 60
Lighting: Coralite Dual 65 watt
Power Head
Sump Pump

On Saturday I rinsed my tank and added 3" of sand & crushed rock/gravel. Then I added 10lbs of porous (non L/r). Then I mixed 1 cup of salt per 2g as the directions stated. I have the mechanical filter (sponge) and ph buffer - crushed coral in place, but I have left the carbon out and plan to do so until the tank is cycled. I have been adding 1/8tsp of Aquarium Products Biozyme on Sat, Sun and tonight when I get home. I'll continue to do this for 4 more days as directed (unless anyone has a better idea).

Now here is where I need some advise. I have been told by my LFS to add 4 damsels to cycle the tank and add LR later. Conversely I have been reading that it's best to put the LR in now as opposed to later. I have not installed the Protein Skimmer yet. The water temp is 78 and the hydrometer is reading a little below 1.020.

My next move is going to be to raise the level of salt to approx 1.022. At this point should I remove some water from the tank or try to mix in a little more salt. If I can add it directly to the tank, how much should I add at a time and how long does it generally take for the salt to disapate?

Once I have the right amount of salt should I test perform the standard tests or should I add the LR. Would 25lbs be a good starting point? Also, when should I introduce the Protein Skimmer.
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Old 12-04-2006, 06:30 PM   #2
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My First Post and My First SW Tank

WELCOME TO AA!!!

Please do not cycle your tank with live animals.

I started my first tank with CC and sand. The sand settles under the CC. I ended up removing the CC, I didn't like having to clean it, it also limited my clean up crew and any other sand sifting critters.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bri87swb
I have been told by my local store to add LR later and by 4 damsels to cycle the tank.
Go to your local grocery store and buy two raw/unseasoned/unfrozed shrimp and throw in the tank. This is a much more humane and cheaper way to cycle your tank.
You can add the LR, at this time, but will probably get die-off, due to the toxic levels that will be present in your tank, during the cycle. I would just wait until the cycle is complete to add your LR and livestock.
From here on out, I would suggest pre mixing your water for at least 24= hours. This is how I do it:
Fri-add water/salt/ph/heater
Sat-test salinity of water
Sun-remove old SW, clean equipment, add premixed SW to tank.
This allows me to adjust as many parameters to the tank's, like pH, temp and salinity. I would not recommend adding salt directly to your main, it can cause problems.
I would also recommend a refractometer over the hydrometer. It is easy to use and way more accurate.
You can also ditch the bioballs and replace them with LR rubble. Bioballs tend to becom nitrAte factories.
You also might want to invest in a QT and another ph. That hex shape reduces the amount of surface area and will effect your pH.
I would leave off the skimmer until your cycle is complete.
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Old 12-04-2006, 07:38 PM   #3
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Thanks Roka64!

You said that I "can also ditch the bioballs and replace them with LR rubble. Bioballs tend to becom nitrAte factories.
You also might want to invest in a QT and another ph."

Should I ditch the bioballs now and switch to LR Rubble or wait until the tail is cycled? Also, I'm a newbie so do you mean by QT and another PH. I'm sure that it's a stupid question, but I want to have a succesful experience.
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Old 12-04-2006, 09:32 PM   #4
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QT = quarantine Tank PH= power Head

Just run your cursor over the initials and it will tell you what it means. I agree with the LR rubble instead of bio balls and I would start now with it. Here is an article about the humane way to cycle that Scott was talking about.

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/articl...q=2&fldAuto=15
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Old 12-04-2006, 11:48 PM   #5
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I agree, LR or base now.
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Old 12-05-2006, 03:03 AM   #6
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Just for the fun of it I ran the following test tonight:

Calcium 340ppm
KH 125.3ppm
Phosphate 0.0ppm
Nitrate 0ppm
Nitrite 0.1 mg/l
Hydrometer shows 1.022
Water Temp is 78

Tomorrow night I will add two raw shrimp and watch the fun begin. I'll also try to find a LFS that carries LR rubble. The stores in my area are all large chain pet stores with the exception of one which sells cured LR. Hopefully they will be able to help me out.

Should I stop adding Biozyme since I am going to introduce raw shrimp to the tank? I'll retest after a couple of days and post the results. I appreciate the help as my knowledgable local resources seem to be limited (or most likely I just haven't found the right store).

Once the appropriate water conditions are established, what do you recommend next? Should I add LR at that point or should I introduce a couple of fish?

Here are a couple of current pictures.
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File Type: jpg pc040002_114.jpg (60.4 KB, 23 views)
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Old 12-05-2006, 10:17 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bri87swb
Would 25lbs of lr be a good starting point?
I'd aim for 70-90 lbs of base/lr to start.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bri87swb
Calcium 340ppm
KH 125.3ppm
Phosphate 0.0ppm
Nitrate 0ppm
Nitrite 0.1 mg/l
Hydrometer shows 1.022
Water Temp is 78
Your ca isn't as important in a fowlr but 400 ppm would be more optimal.
Your KH should be closer to 140 to 180-ppm (8 to 10 ° dKH). sg/temp are fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bri87swb
Tomorrow night I will add two raw shrimp and watch the fun begin.
Two shrimp will probably cause your nh3 to go above 5 ppm which I'd avoid. If your nh3 gets to 3 ppm I'd pull one of them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bri87swb
Should I stop adding Biozyme since I am going to introduce raw shrimp to the tank?
Yes, IME the products to help "quick" cycle a tank are generally useless and your tank will do better in the long run with a slow 6-8 week cycle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bri87swb
Should I add LR at that point or should I introduce a couple of fish?
I'd add base/lr during the cycle and if you need to add it afterwards make sure you cure it first before adding to the tank.

1-2 small fish can be added every 3+ weeks once your cycle is complete. I'd limit your adult fish length to 10".
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Old 12-05-2006, 11:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tecwzrd
I'd add base/lr during the cycle and if you need to add it afterwards make sure you cure it first before adding to the tank.
Do you mean cure the base or the LR? I was under the impression base is already dead....
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Old 12-05-2006, 12:35 PM   #9
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Mostly lr but personally I'd also recommend rinsing then soaking base rock for at least 3 days and test for nh3/no2/no3/po4 to make sure it's not leaching anything. Losing a tank due to neglect is not worth it IMO.
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Old 12-06-2006, 12:19 PM   #10
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im new at this somewhat as well, just started mine last month. learn from my experiences. (note i started my tank Nov 12/13)

im doing a 20 gallon tank, added 20lbs approx. of base rock, then i added a bit of crab meat, and let my ammonia levels get to 8.0ppm before removing the crab.

just on Dec 2nd, a couple of weeks after launching the tank, i added LR. ammonia has gone down from 2.0 to .75 within 3 days of adding the LR

for your tank, i'd recommend (but others may know more) anywhere from 60-80lbs LR/BR, and i agree, its best when adding LR, to add it all at once.

BR is cheap, and can be the bulk of your "rock" this can be added before/same time as LR
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