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Old 08-05-2010, 02:42 PM   #1
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My New Saltwater Venture...Comments, Advice welcomed

Alright so in the beginning of July I started my Fish and Live Rock saltwater tank. A 46 gal bow front.

On 7/06/10 - 80lbs of live sand went in / 40 lb of regular Caribsea topped with 40lb of live aragonite “pink fiji” color.

Ocean Water went in along with two Koralia evolution power heads and a HOB magnum 250.

The set up ran like this until 7/20/10 due to a delay of my Live Rock..

On 7/20/10 – 50 lbs of Live Rock – Fiji Premium went in. The rock was scrubbed well and cleaned in salt water to get rid of the majority of dead matter.

On 7/26/10 the first water test was done ( mind you I am using the strips – I know I shouldn’t but they had already been bought – buying a new test kit soon).

Ammonia : 0
Nitrate: 20
Nitrite: 1.0
Alk / buffer: 240 (don’t really know what this is ?? but its in the safe zone per the legend)
Ph: 8.0

Sg: 1.024

O.k so on 7/27/10 I did my first rookie mistake….
The LFS guy told me that the LR was cured but when I got I assumed that it wasn’t so I read up on it and followed some directions on curing live rock in your “new tank” which stated to do a 50% water change after the first week…..so I did…

I then went to another LFS that was recommended to me by a colleague. That guy told me that I should not have done a water change because it messed with my tanks cycle and that I just set my cycle back a week… this guy recommend I use nitromax marine to help in the cycling. Also recommended Kent purple Tech to spark up the growth of coralline algae on my LR

Observation: I have been noticing a fungus looking growth growing on the dead coralline algae that was not scrubbed off initially / not much but it’s everywhere there is dead coralline. Is this normal???? Is this something I should worry about. Will post picture of the growth once I get home.

So on 8/4/10 I did my latest water test.

Ammonia : 0
Nitrate: 20
Nitrite: 0.5
Alk/ buffer: 240
Ph: 8.0

Sg: 1.024

Also I have been topping of with Distilled Water…I don’t know if this is a major no no but it’s been done…will be doing it with RO/DI water from now on since the new LFS sells it…

So the question is…I am on the right track???? Is there anything I shouldn’t be doing???? Or should not be doing???? Is it just a waiting game until I zero out on the nitrite???? Is Purple tech ok to dose????? Comments, suggestions, advice are more than welcomed…

Here are a couple of pics thus far…will be adding a H.O.B remora for skimming…














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Old 08-05-2010, 03:25 PM   #2
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Couple of small things from my observation...

I wouldn't dose with anything (purple tech) at all. Just let the cycling do it's things. I'd realy love to know what the ammonia readings were between 7/20 and 7/26 since you didn't see any.

On you aquascaping, I'd get the rocks away from the side glass eunf to be able to clean there. I't s gonna get ugly soon. Be comfortable stacking rock against the back glass. Try to create medium to large swim thru holes in the rock-scape.

Do you think you'll ever do sand sifting fish (gobies, etc), or pistol crabs? If so, that rock cannot sit on top of the sand. Gotta touch the bottom glass in order to prevent avalanches of rock from sand burrowers.

What are the smooth stones for? And are those other things decoration? (the red thingy) If so, they'll look bad soon too as the tank matures.
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Old 08-05-2010, 04:56 PM   #3
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"I'd realy love to know what the ammonia readings were between 7/20 and 7/26 since you didn't see any."

Me too....but I didnt take a reading...that's a newbie for you...


"On you aquascaping, I'd get the rocks away from the side glass eunf to be able to clean there. I't s gonna get ugly soon. Be comfortable stacking rock against the back glass. Try to create medium to large swim thru holes in the rock-scape."

All rocks are away from the glass. have plenty of room to get the magment cleaner and alage sponge and scapper through...the convex glass plays tricks with perception.

"Do you think you'll ever do sand sifting fish (gobies, etc), or pistol crabs? If so, that rock cannot sit on top of the sand. Gotta touch the bottom glass in order to prevent avalanches of rock from sand burrowers."

Didn't plan on any gobies or pistol crabs...But I figured out I had fudged up on that part after the fact... I did burry those big chunks of LR as deep as i could...


"What are the smooth stones for? And are those other things decoration? (the red thingy) If so, they'll look bad soon too as the tank matures."

The smooth rocks are from Ventura Beach here in so cal collected by my wife. The fake coral and fake barnicals are also the wife's touch. Some times one just has to compromise. I was lucky, had to talk her out of wanting to put fake plants and fake drift wood. So bear with me, it was a struggle convincing her to get a saltwater tank. progress has been made... trust me.

Thanks for the advice.
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Old 08-05-2010, 05:57 PM   #4
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i wouldn't run those lights while the tank is cycling. it's just going to be a perfect environment for algae to grow. rock needs no light to cycle and do it's job. anything that is alive on that rock thus far will live with just the ambient light in the room, until the cycle is over and nutrient levels are brought down by water changes and such.
the "fungus" is nothing to worry about. the first thing you should see is a diatom outbreak. the rock and sand bed, and probably the glass will get a brown film on it. it's normal and not a sign of doing anything wrong. it will leave as fast as it came.
i'm more of a fan of protein skimmers than HOB filters. i would clean that cannister out weekly, if you decide to keep it in place.
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Old 08-05-2010, 06:51 PM   #5
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Probably not too easy to do now, but with the HOB equipment - and the HOB skimmer coming soon - you might want to consider painting the back glass. Granted... it will eventually get covered with coraline algae, and if you don't scrape the back (which will be hard to do with the HOB equipment) it will act as "paint". But figured I'd bring it up.

Other than that, sounds like you've got a plan. Welcome to the site!
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Old 08-05-2010, 07:12 PM   #6
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The light remains off. Just gets turned on for inspections. As for the filter... Its only there until the skimmer comes. Also thinking a hob fuge but thats in the future unless i find a deal at the aquarium and pond expo this weekend. Looking at the cpr ones. Might find the remora this weekend also so we will see.

As for the background.... I already have a black background which will go up soon.

Again thanks so much for the feed back.
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Old 08-05-2010, 08:17 PM   #7
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"I then went to another LFS that was recommended to me by a colleague. That guy told me that I should not have done a water change because it messed with my tanks cycle and that I just set my cycle back a week… this guy recommend I use nitromax marine to help in the cycling. Also recommended Kent purple Tech to spark up the growth of coralline algae on my LR…"
This LFS is just trying to sell you things you don't really need. Your cycle is progressing nicely. The bacteria you are growing during your cycle lives on the surface of your rocks as well as in the pores of your rock. It also lives on the glass, the sand not so much in the water. So changing some of the water out does not slow the cycle down. You have enough of a bio-load in your tank that you really don't need that
nitromax marine or purple tech. In the future think twice before adding to many chemicals to your tank. the saying is "if you can't test for it, don't add it". Above all have patience and all will turn out great.
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Old 08-05-2010, 09:57 PM   #8
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At least you got her to co-sign on having the tank. Good job so far. Yeah, wood would've been a disaster.

Good luck, have fun, and most of all study and go slow. Oh yes, and have the wife read about some of the critical facts you come across. As much as you can, at least.
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Old 08-07-2010, 01:11 PM   #9
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Hmm...it sounds to me like maybe the live rock already was cured - if you bought it from a LFS, the type they already have sitting in large vats or tanks, then it easily could have been already cured. The "new" rock that is just freshly shipped in is considered to be almost always uncured. You could try to initiate a cycle by adding a grocery store shrimp - just to make sure.
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Old 08-07-2010, 07:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Hmm...it sounds to me like maybe the live rock already was cured - if you bought it from a LFS, the type they already have sitting in large vats or tanks, then it easily could have been already cured. The "new" rock that is just freshly shipped in is considered to be almost always uncured. You could try to initiate a cycle by adding a grocery store shrimp - just to make sure.

No the rocks were in a box with damp news paper. Thats why i was ify about it being cured as the lfs guy said.
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