Hi there! Making this for I guess more of a journal than anything, recording updates and hopefully get some pointers/advise as I go. I'm new to saltwater, though I've run several freshwater tanks for years previously. Like most hobbyists, saltwater has been a bit of a dream that I was initially too scared to dip into until I felt confident in my aquarium knowledge.
While I love the looks of corals ect, I have decided that at first I will only keep fish (FOWLR
) with the possibility of going reef, or simply adding an anemone further down the line. It would be a year or so before my tank would be aged enough anyways, so perfect. This decision has let me gather up equipment I would need for a reef tank rather than just a FOWLR
, such as a reef happy LED
Over the past year/year and a half I have managed to slowly gather up all of my supplies to begin my journey. Originally I was going to start with an old 20H glass aquarium I've had since a child. However I decided to turn that into a freshwater community tank (while turning my 20L that previously hosted the freshwater community into Hermit crab habitat) and get a 29 gallon to start as saltwater. Because bigger is better, right? Figured that would be perfect since I already had the glass canopy that size, I could have more fish choices, and wasn't too big that everything wouldn't be too outrageous price-wise.
Also decided that my saltwater aquarium needed something a lot better to sit on than some industrial shelving. While the 20L was just fine sitting on it, I however now had 9 extra gallons, and 25-30 extra pounds of rock going to be sitting on this shelving so I was a little leary. Plus, it didn't look great. So, I decided to build my own stand, with my dad's help. I love diy projects, and I love customization. My tank stand is taller than most so the tank is more eye level. I have shelving underneath that can accommodate my bucket of salt, a 5 gallon bucket of r/o water for top offs; a middle shelf that can accommodate pretty much anything I want from water tests to foods ect; and a top half shelf that sits just under the holes in the back that I can rest my electric things on (airpump, ramp timer, ect). I could also paint it any color I wanted (I found an awesome sunken pirate ship backdrop that I got for my tank, so I decided to incorporate a kind of tasteful pirate theme and stain the wood to match) The best part is have the stand completely enclosed to make sure no cat could mess around in my wires, equipment, nor eat my fish food! In the end I love how it looks, especially for use being amateur builders!
Here's my DIY tank stand build thread: FH's DIY 29g aquarium stand
And the finished product:
The inside (though it is unorganized right now! beware!)
Now, for my tank and all the equipment ect I have aquired. Which, now the that tank is filled and running, I've been switching up equipment LOL.
- 29G glass aquarium
- glass canopy
- Aqueon quietflow 30 HOB
filter (which will be replaced with a aquaclear 70)
- hydor 100wat heater (which may be replaced since it's turned down to 75F and the water temp says 81.8F)
- two hydor Korlia wavemakers, a 425gph and a 250gph)
- Coralife biocube protein skimmer
- digital thermometer
- FluvalSea full spectrum Marine and Reef LED
(it's 24" I believe)
- Current USA duo ramp timer
- 25 pounds of base rock
- about 30 pounds of Caribsea Arag-Alive Fiji pink sand
- Instant Ocean marine salt
- Salifer Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate tests (I have PH and KH
in API as well as the basic API kit originally bought and used for my FW
tanks. Though I know I can print the saltwater API card I still read that it is pretty unreliable, and I have felt I never got a correct ammonia API reading anyways)
- seachem stability to help kickstart the cycle- or so it's been debated.
After much debating and research ect, I decided not to go with a SUMP because my tank wasn't drilled and I heard HOB
overflow boxes are very unreliable (plus it would be my luck the siphon would break and would flood).
I am currently turning my aquaclear 70 into a mini refugium (of course as soon as I got the 70 I was kicking myself for not getting the aquaclear 110 because more room!), and have it hold my protein skimmer and possibly my heater. That would be nice, less clutter in the tank. However honestly if the power goes out and the water level drops, when it returns if the pump cannot self prime I am worried that it will explode my heater and set fire to my wall and/or break the aquarium/filter sending water everywhere and/or shock my fish. I can be a bit paranoid.
Plus I do want room to grow Cheatum, and no heater in filter means more room.
I have read a lot into the hob
mini refugim, some say it will help, some say it's too small and won't really do anything- but the way I look at it is I haven't read anything saying it'll harm the tank and if there is the slightest possibility that it can help keep my water quality stable/benefit my tank in any way I'm all for it. Plus I really wanted the aquaclear to put my protein skimmer in it so I can properly close my glass canopy lol.
About my lighting: I got them for a good deal off Ebay, white reading it could grow corals (though now I read some other reviews that say otherwise) and when I got the Current Duo ramp timer I thought I could program it for two channels on this particular light (the light itself has a single switch- it can only be on off, daylights, or moonlight). I was really hoping I could program it for both the moonlight and the daylight- turns out it only has one connector plug instead of one for each the moonlight and daylight. Does anyone have any advise or experience dealing with the FluvalSea full spectrum marine lighting that could give me any pointers? Or any way I can possibly jimmyrig it?
I know I don't have to have the moonlight, but it would be nice. My other option is to get a moonlight LED
strip. Doesn't have to be a fancy one or anything.
So, back to the tank! I have had it set up for a little over a week now (filled with r/o water from my LFS
on 5/17/16), and have added two small raw shrimp in pantyhose for a week for a fishless cycle (5/19/16). I was originally going to seed my tank with 5 pounds of liverock, but my LFS
does not carry LR
to cut down on unwanted hitchhikers, which I think it a smart idea. It may take longer, but I'm willing to wait.
is at 1.023, Ammonia is at 0.25pph and Nitrites are at 1pph as of yesterday.
So far I'm able to top off with RO
water every other day, with just 2 1/2- 4 cups.
Today 5/27/16 (ah I need to clean the glass! need to get a soft glass cleaner magnet, wasn't aware that maga-float had such a rough side it makes me super nervous to use on it)
Lastly, my stocking plans. I have kind of thrown idea around for a while, but only recently have I begun to get serious with my livestock possibilities. I like a lot of color, an a lot of personality in my fish.
- Royal Gramma
- Two Oc clowns (one black and white, one common)
- Citrinus clown Goby
- (unsure if I want a blue/green chromis since they have always been a favorite of mine, or if I want some sort of sifter Goby, a chalk bass, a Benggai cardinal fish, or some sort of small colorful damsel though I heard they can become quite aggressive)
For CUC which I'm even more unsure and unfamiliar with, and I defiantly won't add them all at the same time especially when my tank is so new and there isn't a lot of food for them to thrive off of. I was thinking
- 2 blue legged hermits
- 2 red legged hermits
- a skunk cleaner shrimp
- 2 peppermint shrimp
- a starfish, still researching what kind
- possibly an emerald crab, but I heard they can be aggressive with the fish?
- possibly some snails, not quite sure what yet or if I really even want them. My others thanks got over run with trumpet snails and I'm kind of over the snail thing.
So far I'm enjoying the ride!