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Old 11-29-2011, 03:50 PM   #1
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Step by Step

I decided to add a thread for my own personal aquaria growth. Then I can see the process and others can learn from my gains and mistakes. Also, hopefully people will chime in and let me know what they think

So, here we go...

Started Saturday November 26, 2011 with some cleaning the 35 gallon aquarium, adding salt water and turning on the (2) 240 power heads.

Next day I added 3" of carib sea white sand substrate, 30 lbs of live rock and a filter. Water was cloudy. I turned on the filter before bed.

Monday Nov 28 I woke up to clear water and I threw in a dead shrimp. Within hours my ammonia was up (YAY!)

The tank has a Velcro strip around the base, I'm going to make a custom skirt around it to match my decor and hide my extras.

The green algae type stuff on my live rock is unknown and it'd be great if someone could identify for me. This goes for the purple stuff too. I thought it might be coraline, but it looks more like a type of coral to me, more plant-like anyway.

Here are some pictures so far:
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Old 11-29-2011, 03:53 PM   #2
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Here are the other pictures. If the purple stuff is a coral, it is positioned at the bottom of the rock (facing the bottom of the tank), I guess I'll have to flip the rock and have it facing up?
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Old 11-29-2011, 04:06 PM   #3
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will you be getting more live rock then that or base rock?
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Old 11-29-2011, 04:10 PM   #4
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will you be getting more live rock then that or base rock?
Yes, I'm going away for 4 days so I'm going to wait until I get back. I'll be getting a lighting unit with 2 65W VHO bulbs (dual switches) and another 20ish lbs of live or base rock. I'm thinking live because I'm adoring the hitchhikers, they are almost worth it for me.

I'll decide on a HOB skimmer or HOB overflow into a sump in a month or so, we'll see what direction I want to go FOWLR or Reef, but I'm leaning towards reef at the moment.
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Old 11-29-2011, 04:14 PM   #5
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trust me you dont want to many hitch hikers alot of them are a huge issue, I just got a 8lb piece of amazing live rock and it came with a pest crab that if I cant get will kill coral and it also seems to of killed a fish. The rock also has about a 6" bristle worm that I saw out last night and these pests make it difficult to cycle the tank beings they eat the shrimp I try and put in there to cause ammonia. Also base rock has much better holes in it for fish to get in.
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Old 11-29-2011, 04:25 PM   #6
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trust me you dont want to many hitch hikers alot of them are a huge issue, I just got a 8lb piece of amazing live rock and it came with a pest crab that if I cant get will kill coral and it also seems to of killed a fish. The rock also has about a 6" bristle worm that I saw out last night and these pests make it difficult to cycle the tank beings they eat the shrimp I try and put in there to cause ammonia. Also base rock has much better holes in it for fish to get in.
Bristle worm isn't bad though, from what I've read. Why not leaving it? They are good for cleaning up and as long as you don't have too many they aren't a problem. You're is rather big though
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Old 11-29-2011, 04:30 PM   #7
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yeah thats the issue is its size, I dont want that thing in my tank. Iv read that when they are that size they could possibly kill fish idk how much truth there is to that but I dont want to take the chance. I have some nice little bristle star fish however that I like. I have quite the AIPTASIA population as well that Im hoping to get rid of with Peppermint shrimp.
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Old 11-29-2011, 04:33 PM   #8
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yeah thats the issue is its size, I dont want that thing in my tank. Iv read that when they are that size they could possibly kill fish idk how much truth there is to that but I dont want to take the chance. I have some nice little bristle star fish however that I like. I have quite the AIPTASIA population as well that Im hoping to get rid of with Peppermint shrimp.
I'm excited to start seeing things grow and even if they are something that I have to get rid of, it'll be an awesome learning experience.

How long have you been up and running? How long should it take to start seeing the hitch hikers?
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Old 11-29-2011, 06:03 PM   #9
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I set mine up 2 weeks ago and I saw alot of the hitch hikers the first day. more of the same ones pop up every day, today i counted at least 15 different bristle stars and see 3 new aiptasia today as well, really not thrilled about that. I also added 3 shrimp today because I didnt have much ammonia in my tank...
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Old 11-29-2011, 06:57 PM   #10
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I set mine up 2 weeks ago and I saw alot of the hitch hikers the first day. more of the same ones pop up every day, today i counted at least 15 different bristle stars and see 3 new aiptasia today as well, really not thrilled about that. I also added 3 shrimp today because I didnt have much ammonia in my tank...
Maybe I didn't get many hitch hikers then... I am leaving the big sucker that I threw in there yesterday until I get back on Saturday evening. Hopefully there'll be a big spike
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Old 11-29-2011, 07:14 PM   #11
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yeah i used 3x jumbo shrimp and will be testing the water and trying to keep it at about 4ppm. for the past week its been at .25ppm ammonia but its turning some of it into nitrates so im glad im seeing that there must be a small amount of BB
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Old 11-29-2011, 07:38 PM   #12
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BB?

My ammonia is @ 4 already and staying steady...I'm going to be wondering about it for the next 3 days lol
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Old 11-29-2011, 07:47 PM   #13
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Benificial Bacteria = BB

it will get rather toxic im sure
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Old 11-30-2011, 12:08 AM   #14
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Woo hoo! My levels are up already! I couldn't resist checking again before I left for New York. My ammonia is 5.0, nitrites are 4.0 and nitrates are almost @ the 20 colour lol. How can this be though? I thought to get the nitrites up so high that first I'd need to have the nitrates up because nitrites turn into nitrates...please enlighten me!
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Old 11-30-2011, 12:09 AM   #15
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P.S. I didn't think I'd EVER be excited to have toxic, smelly water in my living room
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Old 11-30-2011, 01:08 AM   #16
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Im not sure about the reasoning behind it but my FW 75 gallon did that, I had all 3 at the same time. thats working fast however, I added 3 shrimp and I have only risen my Ammonia to .5 from .25 in about 5 hours
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Old 11-30-2011, 07:10 AM   #17
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I'd remove the shrimp before you leave if not too late. That ammonia level is high enuf IMO. And an earlier poster is correct, in that it'll likely smell real bad when you get back.
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Old 12-08-2011, 12:09 PM   #18
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I didn't see that post until I was back, there was no smell though. I talked to the guy @ my LFS and he says it's cycling pretty fast. My Ammonia went off the chart and is back down already to .5 so I threw another shrimp in yesterday. My Nitrates are coming back down and my Nitrites are pretty high still. My pH is 7.8 which is acceptable, but how do I get this down? When do I start doing water changes? I've had to add more when I got home because in the four days the water level dropped an inch or so.
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Old 12-08-2011, 12:28 PM   #19
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I also have some questions about water in the reef tanks (which it will be eventually).

1. Does hardness matter?
2. No RO unit, can I use the big bottles of water until I get one?
3. I have the reef salt, what else do I need to test for? API mater kit is coming now, so Nitrates, nitrates, pH, ammonia, calcium, and what else?
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Old 12-08-2011, 01:08 PM   #20
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U don't want to get the ph down u want to get it up around 8.1
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