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First Salt water...new build

This is a discussion on First Salt water...new build within the Beginner Saltwater Aquariums forums, part of the Saltwater Fish and Coral Reef Tanks category; --> Originally Posted by badxgillen That switch to the pump power is something I have never done but have wanted to for extra security,to be ...

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First Salt water...new build
Old 04-11-2014, 06:50 AM   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badxgillen View Post
That switch to the pump power is something I have never done but have wanted to for extra security,to be honest the only automatic things i have is a auto top off system and that is only on one tank. I am getting envious of the fine details here.

I forget did you mention here or another thread about your upcoming lighting?
My "fail safe" ideas come from my line of work... I'm a marine mechanic and machinist by trade, but, 19 years ago got hired to run the maintenance of a mediuim sized machine shop, I regularly work with pumps, water treatment and alarms.. so it's becomes second nature to think about these things..

The lights.. i did mention it... but not in great detail...for now, the lights that came the the hoods can stay... when I added the live sand last night ( I still have a little more "grading to do when my live rock arrives)I installed a multi color LED behind one of the caves, and graded sand up to it..speaking of sand... I went with a little coarser aggrigate, my way of thinking was, that if I didn't like it, capping it with fine sand wouldnt be a big deal... conversely, if Ihad the fine sand, and it wasn't to my liking, removing it would be more work than I care to think about.. i like the coarser sand alot BTW... back to the lights.. the LED is only a 12" color changing strip, so it illuniminates the back of the cave... it looked pretty cool, although the water hadn't cleared completely yet... that LED is on a timer set to go off at 5 AM ... at 5:30 the first hood light comes on eventually this will be a softer light bulb to simulate sunrise and early morning sun...at 6: AM the second light is set to come on.. this will be a more intense light .. to simulate the latter part of the morning and day... the LED will shut off now and remain off until 5PM.. then it will turn on.... at 5:30.. the "bright" noon day light will shut down leaving the softer light lit for another 30 minutes... and 30 minutes latter the cave lights will go out...

As i said earlier I added the live sand last night, and filled the tank abput 7/8th of the way... just shy of the filter ( I had to make more water)... I installed the circulator pump on the opposite side of the return below the intake for the weir... angling it slightly upward to meet the return water that will aim downward to the front of the tank, creating a counter clockwise current.... I "hid" the probe for the digital themometer behind it....I installed the 200 watt heater low in the water colum in the opposite corner near the intake ( there is also a 150 watt heater in the sump)...

the live rock is "out for delivery" so I may have to leave work a little early today

I almost forgot.... I bought some black paper to slip under the white spots to simulate the depth of the back of the cave
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Last edited by Roccus; 04-11-2014 at 06:52 AM.. Reason: I forgot stuff...
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Old 04-11-2014, 10:29 AM   #12
 
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Are you going to run an actinic and a 10,000 K like most people or are you going for a warmer color scheme? I did not see if they were T-8s or T-5s?High Output maybe?
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Old 04-11-2014, 11:10 AM   #13
 
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Are you going to run an actinic and a 10,000 K like most people or are you going for a warmer color scheme? I did not see if they were T-8s or T-5s?High Output maybe?
they are T 5's... that's what I have read.. I need more thought and study..( hence leaving the stock ones for now).. what do you recomend... because I want to gear everything twoards a reef tank, I want to have everything aiming in that direction.. if for no other reason to "practice" for when i introduce coarals in the future...for now until the tank cycles, I will be limiting the light to 4 hours a day to keep algae growth to a minimum..
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Old 04-11-2014, 06:19 PM   #14
 
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If you have the option to go with one blue actinic and one 10,000 Kelvin do so as this will have good spectrum for growth and still look good. This may not be enough to keep all types of corals but will be good fro some soft corals and LPS...You can always upgrade later on.
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Old 04-13-2014, 09:30 PM   #15
 
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the waiting game...

My live rock arrived on time Friday afternoon.... so I placed them in the tank topped it off with water and fired up the filter...
I finished the fresh water top off and the low water shut off ( for the mag pump) I added a 5 w light for the center portion of the filter I added about 5 lbs of live sand and the rock rubble to the filter..
I decided to separate the skimmer and put it on a switch so I wouldn't have to keep unplugging it to service the cup...

I did a water test today and was expecting ammonia and was very surprised to find 20ppm nitrates ( my skimmer is still in break in mode ) so I did a 20 gallon water change( 1/3 of the volume)... ( ammonia was at 0..nitrIte was @.50).. I'll retest in the morning...The salt mixture was made from DI water, so I know the nitrates didn't come from the water...
My parameters are as follows after the first test... Phosphate 0...NitrAte 20ppm...Calcium.320ppm...Ammonia @0...NirtrIte @.50ppm...KH 161.1........Salinity @1.023... water temp 78.6

Pictured are the low level shut off ( yellow switch) for the pump.... the auto top off I made from 1/2" pvc and drilled and tapped a 1/8NPT hole in the cap for the sensor... I housed the pipe in a 1" pvc pipe and drilled out the bushing to accept the 1/2" pipe... a 1/4" 20 hole wa tapped into the bushing to accept the ss adjustment screw... a plastic box was set inside and the switch wired to the outlet.... the 10 gallon bucket ( with pump) is filled with DI water for top offs...

The last picture is as she sets now...still little cloudy but I'm happy with the circulation ( after considerable monkeying around)...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg low level switch.jpg (31.1 KB, 40 views)
File Type: jpg Auto refill sensor.jpg (39.4 KB, 40 views)
File Type: jpg auto fill and filter.jpg (40.7 KB, 40 views)
File Type: jpg Salt water day 3.jpg (53.2 KB, 41 views)
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Old 04-13-2014, 11:19 PM   #16
 
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If you want any macro algae I can send you some as I have way too much right now. I could also send you some of my live sand with spaghetti worms and copopods.
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Old 04-14-2014, 06:45 AM   #17
 
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If you want any macro algae I can send you some as I have way too much right now. I could also send you some of my live sand with spaghetti worms and copopods.
That is a very genrous offer...Macro algae would go a long way towards helping the tank stabilize until the tank matures a little...

I got called into work early this AM... time to run a test...it'l lhave to wait until I get home..
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Old 04-17-2014, 06:32 AM   #18
 
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update...

Nitrates disapeared after water change.. and have not reapeared since... nitrite showed at 0.25...no amonia... I've since added macro algae to the tank and macro algae and pods to the refugium... skimmer is now producing skimate and the tank is crystal clear ....and I've raised the salinity to 1.024 where i plan on keeping it....if the water parameters hold tight , Ill pick up a clean up crew next week...

I've since made a light timing bar to go inside the cabinate( I forgot to photograph it)...I was mistaken on my lighting.. the bulbs are T-8's... the same fixtures on my fresh water rank... I had a 10'000 K bulb that was an experiment on the fresh tank from when i was selecting the best light for the plants..it was too much there but looks great on this application.... eventually ( when the bulbs need replacing) I will be changing out the fixtures...

I made a small test station for checking my water quality, previously, I did it at the kitchen table... I cant count the vials i have dropped ( and broken) onto the ceramic tile floor in the kitchen... so I made a test tube holder from egg crate and a small section on foam board... using a hot glue gun I assembled the pieces and it holds the tubes nicely and stable...the station is a great asset for testing the water in both my tanks.. simplifieing the chore greatly.
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File Type: jpg Phase II.jpg (54.8 KB, 34 views)
File Type: jpg testing shelve.jpg (43.4 KB, 34 views)
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Old 04-17-2014, 10:36 AM   #19
 
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Some of my favorite test stations are simple wooden blocks with shallow holes drilled out as to accommodate the test tubes,then labeled appropriately.At some point I am going to have my friend make me one from semi precious stone and crystal or maybe coral but for now I use the old block and foam. What kind of macro did you go with?
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Old 04-17-2014, 11:39 AM   #20
 
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I went with 4 kinds..Chaetomorpha....Red and green gracilara and ulva.. i also added some shaving brush to the tank as well...
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