My Tank Journal (Picture Heavy)

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My Tank Journal (Picture Heavy)

Postby christian123 » Mon Jan 07, 2013 11:30 pm

So i have been talking with rush an a lot about starting a salt water tank, im really grateful for the excellent advice he has provided me and finally broke down and decided to document it all in a Thread.
What i am going to work with is a 55 gallon tank that i currently have with a Blood Parrot, a Female Convict, and a Green terror. these fish will all be found great homes before i tear down the tank.

So heres what i have to work with
55 Gallon Tank
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Brand New stand i picked up
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Ammonia to start the cycle
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75 Pounds of uncured Rock
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Master test kit + Water Conditioner
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Hydrometer + Thermometer
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Protein Skimmer
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3 Power Heads
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Aqueon Heater/ Possible future sump
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All i have left to order is the light fixture for the top of the tank. As rush suggested i will run my crappy fluorescent strip lighting until the red slime phase is completed. As for substrate i am keeping the black moon sand.


Stocking will be
A pair of False Percula Clowns or Picasso Clowns
A School of 5 green Chromis
A potters Angel Fish

there will be no clean up crew in this tank because i am allergic to shellfish as in hermit crabs and Snails. If anyone has any advice that is the salt water version of a cory cat let me know. Suggestions and Advice are always welcome!!!
75 Gallon 12 in Red Devil, 7 Inch Malawi male
55 Gallon Salt Water tank in Progress
In three words i can sum up everything ive learned about life: Its goes on-Robert Frost
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Re: My Tank Journal (Picture Heavy)

Postby MonarchzMan » Mon Jan 07, 2013 11:52 pm

You might look at a blenny. A lot of them are herbivorous and do a good job of keeping algae in check.
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Re: My Tank Journal (Picture Heavy)

Postby ~RuSh~ » Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:51 am

Always nice to see another saltwater journal getting up and running. :D
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Re: My Tank Journal (Picture Heavy)

Postby christian123 » Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:40 pm

Looking for advice on lighting. Im looking for a 48" T5 fixture with led moon lights. Looking to stay under $200.00 if possible.
75 Gallon 12 in Red Devil, 7 Inch Malawi male
55 Gallon Salt Water tank in Progress
In three words i can sum up everything ive learned about life: Its goes on-Robert Frost
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Re: My Tank Journal (Picture Heavy)

Postby MonarchzMan » Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:21 pm

Are you looking for a fish only tank or are you looking to eventually get into corals? If it's the latter, I'd really suggest thinking about going LEDs. If it's the former, lighting isn't as important, I don't think, so you could probably do a relatively cheap fixture. But if you're thinking of getting corals, lights are going to be important, so you might as well get what you'll need rather than getting a subpar fixture and then needing to upgrade later.
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Re: My Tank Journal (Picture Heavy)

Postby christian123 » Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:25 pm

i am looking to do a few corals but nothing really fancy and some low light corals would be fine with me. I would rather stay away from leds because of the initial cost and the feedback ive been hearing about them. i really like the T5 fixtures but i have a hard time telling what wattage i may need and what temp in Kelvin of light i should get. I want an aneonme for the clown fish than other than that one or two colorful pieces of coral and id call it a day.
75 Gallon 12 in Red Devil, 7 Inch Malawi male
55 Gallon Salt Water tank in Progress
In three words i can sum up everything ive learned about life: Its goes on-Robert Frost
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Re: My Tank Journal (Picture Heavy)

Postby MonarchzMan » Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:03 pm

You probably would want a 4-8 bulb fixture for that size tank. But the anemone might not like it. Everything I've read about anemones is that they like strong light. Your best option would be to get a bubble-tip anemone since they can move towards the top of the tank (long-tentacled will have to stay in the sand bed). I would be concerned that the anemone might not like it. I just did a quick search on Drs. Foster and Smith to look at their T5 lights and it looks like the cheapest 4 bulb fixture is going to be in the $250 range. I'm not experienced enough to say whether such a fixture would be okay for an anemone, but I would lean against it.

I've heard nothing but good things about LEDs, personally.
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Re: My Tank Journal (Picture Heavy)

Postby christian123 » Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:17 pm

Do you have any advice on getting an led fixture. Things i should look for in the fixture? light color, output wattage?
75 Gallon 12 in Red Devil, 7 Inch Malawi male
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Re: My Tank Journal (Picture Heavy)

Postby MonarchzMan » Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:49 pm

A friend of mine got a 65 gallon tank (pretty sure..) and has, I think, 8 Ecoxotic spot lights (like http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/p ... atid=23655) on the tank that do well. I think he has four of the mixed LED with both actinic and white lights and four white lights (which he was able to get for about $20). You could probably get away with 6 of those on a 55 and get really nice lighting. Or, you could get the T5 fixture and then get one of those spot lights for a small area of the tank. I've seen photos of my friend's tank and the spot lights look pretty cool.

I just got an Evo100 (http://reefkoi.com/index.php?main_page= ... ts_id=2458) for my 29. They have a 200w model that would probably work really well for your 55, but that is $500. Alternatively, I would guess that you could run two Evo50 on the tank and probably be okay as well, but that would still be $400.

I'd say there are a number of options out there.
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Re: My Tank Journal (Picture Heavy)

Postby christian123 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:31 pm

Well this project has been put on hold for a few weeks. Currently have to move my wall mounted TV and under mounted entertainment system. Plus i just bought a hot tub. so for now this tank will sit in pieces in my spare room until i can find some spare time. I still need to order the light fixture and then the tank is ready too roll. Ill update the thread the next time i make any progress.
75 Gallon 12 in Red Devil, 7 Inch Malawi male
55 Gallon Salt Water tank in Progress
In three words i can sum up everything ive learned about life: Its goes on-Robert Frost
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Re: My Tank Journal (Picture Heavy)

Postby MonarchzMan » Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:50 pm

If your rock is uncured live rock, I would go ahead and set up the tank, fill it with water, and put the rock in (because there is going to be stuff on the rock). Even if it's not live rock, I'd still set up the tank and fill it and get it cycling. You don't need lights or anything for it to cycle. Just let the bacteria get going. You can even toss in a couple uncooked shrimp to speed up the process.
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Re: My Tank Journal (Picture Heavy)

Postby ~RuSh~ » Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:59 pm

I agree with MM. It will take a solid 3 months for the tank to really go through all of it's nasty algae phases anyway. Sometimes its better NOT to have a super powerful light during those phases.
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Re: My Tank Journal (Picture Heavy)

Postby christian123 » Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:40 pm

Ok im having a new dresser being delivered tom and it has to go by where the tank will be. so far i have traded in my stock to a lfs for some store credit. Drained and cleaned the tank, Now after the dresser is delivered i will move the tank to where i want it and start the cycle. I will be using 100 % pure ammonia what ppm am i looking to keep the tank at to complete the cycle?
75 Gallon 12 in Red Devil, 7 Inch Malawi male
55 Gallon Salt Water tank in Progress
In three words i can sum up everything ive learned about life: Its goes on-Robert Frost
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Re: My Tank Journal (Picture Heavy)

Postby ~RuSh~ » Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:57 pm

Anywhere between 1-5 ppm is fine. You don't want to go above 7ppm. For some reason I've heard of high concentrations stalling the cycle. I'd stick with 1-2ppm. There's no reason to go crazy with it.
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Re: My Tank Journal (Picture Heavy)

Postby christian123 » Tue Jan 15, 2013 11:01 pm

Will do, ill update when i get it all put together!!
75 Gallon 12 in Red Devil, 7 Inch Malawi male
55 Gallon Salt Water tank in Progress
In three words i can sum up everything ive learned about life: Its goes on-Robert Frost
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Re: My Tank Journal (Picture Heavy)

Postby christian123 » Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:57 pm

Thought i would post the picture of the thing that was holding up my salt water project. My New Dresser, Solid oak with a mirror and i love it!!

Image
75 Gallon 12 in Red Devil, 7 Inch Malawi male
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Re: My Tank Journal (Picture Heavy)

Postby ~RuSh~ » Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:01 pm

It's huge!
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Re: My Tank Journal (Picture Heavy)

Postby Lilly » Thu Jan 17, 2013 9:48 pm

Hey Christian123,

Beautiful dresser....I can see why you wanted it...who is the red fish watching you?
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Re: My Tank Journal (Picture Heavy)

Postby christian123 » Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:40 pm

its my 3 year old red devil!!
75 Gallon 12 in Red Devil, 7 Inch Malawi male
55 Gallon Salt Water tank in Progress
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Re: My Tank Journal (Picture Heavy)

Postby christian123 » Sun Jan 20, 2013 5:19 pm

So i got the tank all set up the rock rinsed and put into the tank. My salinity is hovering around 1.024 right now temp is 69.5 F and my ammonia is 4ppm. I am using about 50 pounds of uncured rock. My major question right now is, since the rock is "dead" where does the bacteria that are going to populate it come from?
75 Gallon 12 in Red Devil, 7 Inch Malawi male
55 Gallon Salt Water tank in Progress
In three words i can sum up everything ive learned about life: Its goes on-Robert Frost
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Re: My Tank Journal (Picture Heavy)

Postby MonarchzMan » Sun Jan 20, 2013 6:24 pm

I would recommend "seeding" the tank with some live rock. If you can get a couple of pounds of live rock, either online or from a fish store, that will help speed up the process.
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Re: My Tank Journal (Picture Heavy)

Postby ~RuSh~ » Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:42 am

Just like in freshwater, the nitrifying bacteria for saltwater are ubiquitous. They are everywhere. In the air, on your dresser, in the toilet, in your refridgerator, etc. The goal is to provide them with an energy source so that they can multiply and populate to the point where they can accomodate the bioload of your future fish. That's where the ammonia comes in.

If you are sort of on hold for a while longer, then there is no rush. Let the ammonia do it's thing and the rock will cycle on it's own. If you want to speed things up a bit, you can definitely buy some Live rock and like MM said it will help seed the rest of the rock and sand.
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Re: My Tank Journal (Picture Heavy)

Postby christian123 » Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:38 pm

So i purchased 2 and a half pounds of live rock, i gave it a good inspection. left it in the tank for an hour and i come back and there are 3 brittle starfish on it. i tried getting them with tongs. i got two of them but one floated away behind my rock formation. what kind of problems will this thing cause if any at all

Edit: this this is super tiny i mean it all stretched out would fit on a penny. the body of the is prob 2 cm.
75 Gallon 12 in Red Devil, 7 Inch Malawi male
55 Gallon Salt Water tank in Progress
In three words i can sum up everything ive learned about life: Its goes on-Robert Frost
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Re: My Tank Journal (Picture Heavy)

Postby ~RuSh~ » Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:04 pm

Brittle stars are no problem. When they get really big they can eat small inverts, but that's usually not until they are like 6-8 inches.
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Re: My Tank Journal (Picture Heavy)

Postby christian123 » Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:09 pm

Ok so an update. My ammonia was a tad high at 6ppm so i preformed a water change. Changed up the power head flows a little bit and basically ive just been letting it run day and night with the light on. Water was super cloudy but after the water change things have settled down a bit. I think i had a huge bacterial bloom by accidentally dosing to much ammonia. i was dosing daily with the pure ammonia but decided to throw in some sinking wafers and things got a tad out of hand. I believe everything is back on track. I have another powerhead on order. and then its just a new light fixture with my taxes and bam the cycle should be done by then.
Here is a picture just to show the rock work. this was taken the first day thats why i had the emp 400 on the tank
Image
75 Gallon 12 in Red Devil, 7 Inch Malawi male
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In three words i can sum up everything ive learned about life: Its goes on-Robert Frost
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