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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; --> I've made a few more changes... I've added my kalkwasser system ( 2 little fishies reactor) and have brought my calcium level to 420...... ...

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First Salt water...new build
Old 04-25-2014, 01:22 PM   #21
 
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update 4/25/14

I've made a few more changes... I've added my kalkwasser system ( 2 little fishies reactor) and have brought my calcium level to 420...... with the aid of kent marine buffer, I have held/brought my PH to 8.2 and held my dkh @ 10...my SG is at 1.024....all these reading have been the same for 4 days staright... for now..i feel I'm stable...
the macro algae in the refugium are florishing and I feel a big part of the recent loss of detecatable nitrates in the water... removing the filter media probaly assited as well.. i have palced them in a quarentine tank filter to keep them alive in case of an amonia spike..( see below)

I've since removed my bio balls and pre filter for a 100micron sock filter and replaced the cranky, hard to( keep) adjust(ed) marineland 100 for a reef octopus NWB 110 skimmer.. the differance is apples and coconuts... I'm getting undetectable nitrates... 0 amonia and 0 phosphate and nitrites... and 5 times the green goo the marine land mixed up... some times you just need to read a little more before you buy.. the Reef octopus is 3 times the skimmer for almost $50 less....... my hermit crabs and snails have all calimed their territories...I have 2 cleaner clams that dissappeared into the substrate... I've seen their siphons above the sand a few times so I know they are alive..... this week end i plan on adding a few finned critters.. I think the tank can handle it now.....I've learend alot in a short time... and my education is just begining..
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Old 04-25-2014, 06:26 PM   #22
 
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The reef octopus recirc skimmers are great.
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Old 04-28-2014, 07:02 AM   #23
 
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New Friends..

Saturday was rainy... and a cold wind off the ocean( water temp is still 40 degrees here) made me scrap the yard work and think of indoors activities... so after another abreviated water check my wife and I took a 40 minute ride to a place she calls "the bunker"... it is a fish keepers dream..... And the biggest true aquarium/fish supply store in the area.. not much to look at.. but inside.... tanks of fish .. fresh.. salt and in between...it's not Fla. or Cal... but it's the best we have around...I had an Idea of what kind of fish I wanted.... of coarse i wanted to take all of them home but after an hour of drooling.. I walked away from the tangs... eels and other feisty critters and made friends with a pair of Balck Ocellris clown fish and a diamond spot gobie.... the clowns are insepperable.... and seem to profer the top 1/3 of the tank.... I love how they are differant from the normal orange and yellow paterns .. my next friend is a bulldozer with with fins.... he has already made tunnels under all the base rock...making me real happy that I took the time to secure it with a hot glue gun to the egg crate undernieth...he's an interesting little fellow that stirred the tank up quite a bit yesterday... which judging from the clatrity of the tank this morning( which was quite cloudy after he was done at the end of the day) and brightness of the sifted through substrate is a good thing..I can't believe the amnount of gravel theis guy shovels through his gills looking for detris gold..I'm sure some of the multiple stockings of copepods in my refugium have found their way into the tank... he seemed to key on spots where the bottom current swirled and deposisted "litter" on the bottom...
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Old 04-28-2014, 01:48 PM   #24
 
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Exciting isn't it? Is that Graciliaria or Halymenia.
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Old 05-02-2014, 08:05 AM   #25
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badxgillen View Post
Exciting isn't it? Is that Graciliaria or Halymenia.
absolutly... totally differant ball game from Fresh water... I have spawning fish in my pond... I've raised many variaties of fresh water fish from eggs to adult.. I use only live plants and enjoy the aquascape i create... but the eco system that we create as marine aquarists is unique in pretty much self sustaining...my water parameters have not changed in two weeks... I like the stabilization that I have...

I have both macros in the tan and in my refugium...

I need to post pictures of my revised filter/refugium/sump...the prototype got me through the initial "experiment" of bulding my own sump/filter/refugium... I think you'll like my revised design.. it looks professional and is extremlly funtional...

The fish have come into thier own and have adapted well to the tank, as near as i can tell.. the goby is a hoot.. he's moved sand and shells making his own aqua scape.. piling it all in one area ontop of the base rock...he recognizes me as the bearer of shrimp and will rise and take it out of my hand while I'm hydrating the freeze dried krill between my fingers...I think he enjoys the copepods that I stocked in the tank before he arrived..

The clowns are strange... after the lights go out ( or during the dusk/dawn periods) they migrate to the top of the tank in the water that eddies along the filter in the corner... they "ball up" and lay on their sides.. staying in one place.. .. the first night they did it, i expected to find them dead in the morning...( i lay awake trying to figure what was wriong because I checked all water parameters before buying them and took 2 hours to aclimate them via drip method)... but as soon as their meal of frozen( thawed) mysis shrimp was served they ate like it was the last supper.. during the day... side by side they patrol the entire tank.... from mid depths to the top... eagerly eating their mysis or brine shrimp offering.. sometime even nipping at the algae wafer left for the hermits and snails.. each night when the first light goes out . they assume the posistion... and each morning they eagerly await thier meal.. is this normal?
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Old 05-02-2014, 10:38 AM   #26
 
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In time you can give em a nice large mushroom coral,anemone, or some thing similar,they are most likely replicating the sleeping behavior of being in an anemone.
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Old 05-02-2014, 11:28 AM   #27
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badxgillen View Post
In time you can give em a nice large mushroom coral,anemone, or some thing similar,they are most likely replicating the sleeping behavior of being in an anemone.
I knew you'd know...my first thought was I some how damaged their swim bladders.. because i picked them out myself I knew they were healthy( at least to look at) .. and the shop keeper was gentle with them when he netted them...they seemed fine in the bags but obviosly were scared with their new surroundings.. not so with the goby.. that little guy claimed his territiry imediatly and began making it home..so much for being a shy fish..

I'm starting to see things grow and move around.. especially during the "twilight" hours I have created with the LED's.. I dont have the experience YET to identify some of it.. but I will in time.... no ( visible) algae growing on anything.... ... I hope that is a good thing./...my asumption is the lack of nuetrieants ( bad) that they feed on.....day light is 12 hours in the display tank.. 12 in the refugium..... on opposite cycles.. I went with an actininc light and daylight 10.000k as you suggested ( these are T-8's.. I mistakenly thought they were T - 5's until I actualy looked at them!)... I will need to upgrade when the time comes for corals... I may make/design my own hood and lights.. i have everything here at work from when i changed over the shop lighting from T-5's to high bay lights.. .. I saved a bunch of the fixtures so I have ballasts and parts.. I'll just need to buy bulbs......my hermit crabs have become very active... they have the bottom of the tank spotless.. I'm amazed at all the decaying plant life they consume...my son inlaw has a 75 gallon reef tank.. he told me he's jealous of my sump becasuse he wants one but has no room for it...he's doing everything with a HOB filter and contakerous protien skimmer ( he's ready to buy reef octopus one after seeing how well/easy mine is to operate)he also mentioned that he was having trouble with water quality( well water) he is trying to convince his wife to let him get a R/O/D/I sysyem like mine...he's using well water... my gur=ess is it's starting problems.. but.. I'm new to salt so I'm keeping my opinions to myself....he's been doing this a long time.. but seems to have more problems than he should...he liked the fact that my hermits are so active.. crawling all over the place..he says he has 50 but almost never sees them... I put a 2" square of marine algae in a clip on the bottom during my evening feed of the fish.. when I get up in the morning.. it's gone... every last spec...evern that clinging to the inside of the clip..
I have a turbo snail that lives around my weir.... he climbs in every few days and spends a day or so in it then climbes back out... I'm surprizesd he can crawl against the flow that is strong enough to keep the surface "slick" free...@ 350 -400 GPH
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Old 05-02-2014, 08:39 PM   #28
 
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Sounds like you can build a custom lighting unit that will be sufficient for all sorts of corals,you can even put in two or three switches to controll actinic blues and add a dusk to dawn effect on timers.
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Old 05-08-2014, 07:40 AM   #29
 
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updates and additions..

as mentione before.. i have re configured my sump/filter/refugium...with a little experience..trial and error and more research, i decided to re work my sump.. again, I removed the bio balls and pre filter and replaced it with a 100 mic poly sock filter.... it is amazing how much "smegma" this thing removes from the system.. this is rinsed daily when i clean the skimmer cup( still loving the reef octopus)... so the water flows from the tank into the sock... it then enters the first chamber ( 12" X 10" x 10") the skimmer sits on a grate to raise it to it's operating depth of 8"... the water exits the chamber and imediatly hits a baffel that sepperates it fom the refugium, it( the baffel) sits 1" off the bottom, a second baffel sits on the bottom and allows the refugium to maintain 8" of water, some ot the water is directed to the pump chamber as it hits the baffel, the rest slowly circulates the refuggium... the pump chamber ( roughly 8 x 10x 6 deep) has a coarse sponge that serves as a bubble shield and catches any floating debris that may drift in from the refugium.. the water washes over a polishing pad ( rinsed daily).. the chamber houses 2 pumps.. an 1100 GPH that supplies the return water to the tank.. the other, supplies water to the the carbon and phos ban reactors.. the water is returned back to the first chamber for additional cleaning after treatment...redundant ...maybe.. but a month into the life of the tank and after removing the bio balls and changing my "habits" i show no Amoinia...nitrItes or NitrAtes..the water is clear and the tank seems to be thriving... ocasionly small bits of algae show in the filter or on the back of thetank.. the snails devour it almost imediatly .. the refugium has a 4" deep live sand bed as well as live rock rubble and macro algae.. both the tank and refugium have been stocked ( several times) with micro algae and 3 types of pods...I no longer test the water every day.. I've gone to every 3rd day(I will test amonia and trites and trates daily for another week)... if things stay status quo after the new additions settle in.. I'll move to one a week...

the new additions... 2 false percula clown fish... a yelow belly damsel ( that adores the caves) and I decided to take a chance and kick it up a nothch and bought a feather duster.. I added 10 more snails and 10 more hermit crabs and anoter peppermint shrimp..these pictures were taken at feeding time ( forzen myasis shrimp) it's messy but every one likes it.... I feed these and do my filter cleaning 1/2 hour latter...
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Old 05-29-2014, 05:26 PM   #30
 
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update...

it's been awhile since I've updated the build so here's what's happening...

at 2 months... I just did my first water change... about 30%.... my nitrates were showing a little color and I was having trouble keeping the calcium level stable...all other parameters were as good as the first day...
a week later everything is at 0...my calcium is steady ( all week) at 400PPM...

I added 2 pajama cardinals a few weeks back... I' loving the filter upgrade I did a while back.... the water remains crystal clear and a quick rinse one a day when I service the skimmer is all it takes...

my latest upgrade is a all glass top... 2 sets of T 5 40 w lights that also harbor a pair of 40 W actinic lights... I used one of my my original lights ( 10.000 K T8) to set as a "high noon" light that turns on at 10 and off at 4..the other is on a timer with the LED's it houses a 15 W actinic "moon light" for night time light... Pictures and a surprise tomorrow...
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