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New tank is setup. What next?

This is a discussion on New tank is setup. What next? within the Beginner Saltwater Aquariums forums, part of the Saltwater Fish and Coral Reef Tanks category; --> Originally Posted by NC Frank Nitrate - <10 (Water change scheduled for tomorrow) Calcium - 400 (Dosing Calcium tonight) Carb. hardness - 8 (Dosing ...

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New tank is setup. What next?
Old 01-10-2010, 07:08 PM   #121
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NC Frank View Post
Nitrate - <10 (Water change scheduled for tomorrow)
Calcium - 400 (Dosing Calcium tonight)
Carb. hardness - 8 (Dosing super dkh tonight)

I notice some bright green algae on the base rock and the glass and a little red hair algae (burgundy color) on the live rock. Will the Mexican turbo snails eat this off the rocks? I am a little confused as to what could be causing it. My light is on for 12 hours, I don't believe I am over feeding (protein skimmer not filling up that quickly at all), and I only use RODI for top off and salt water mixed in RODI. What could be causing this?
I think your CUC is enough at this time. I would not add more.

A comment on the tank readings. Everything looks great. You are correct it is time to dose calcium and buffer. By the way, this is something to recognize. Water changes and nitrates are not in any way connected. I see this all the time, people give a nitrate reading and then post when their next water changes is scheduled. But the 2 things are completely independent of each other. You are changing water in a marine system to replenish trace elements that are depleted. You can't test for trace elements, which makes the discuss of water changes an interesting topic. You really have to judge how often to change water by using your eyes as a test kit. You will start to see how things respond to water changes, and adjust your schedule accordingly. On that subject, I like your plan of 5% every other week, along with replacing carbon.

As for the green and red algae growth. You aren't doing anything wrong. There will always be uneaten foods and other waste products that are broken down and contribute to the nutrient load. Some algae growth is almost impossible to not have. You have a living system and everything goes somewhere.

About the protein skimmer, can you post some pictures of the skimate and neck. Lets see if it is doing what it should be.
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Old 01-10-2010, 08:53 PM   #122
 
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I think your CUC is enough at this time. I would not add more.

A comment on the tank readings. Everything looks great. You are correct it is time to dose calcium and buffer. By the way, this is something to recognize. Water changes and nitrates are not in any way connected. I see this all the time, people give a nitrate reading and then post when their next water changes is scheduled. But the 2 things are completely independent of each other. You are changing water in a marine system to replenish trace elements that are depleted. You can't test for trace elements, which makes the discuss of water changes an interesting topic. You really have to judge how often to change water by using your eyes as a test kit. You will start to see how things respond to water changes, and adjust your schedule accordingly. On that subject, I like your plan of 5% every other week, along with replacing carbon.

As for the green and red algae growth. You aren't doing anything wrong. There will always be uneaten foods and other waste products that are broken down and contribute to the nutrient load. Some algae growth is almost impossible to not have. You have a living system and everything goes somewhere.

About the protein skimmer, can you post some pictures of the skimate and neck. Lets see if it is doing what it should be.
I just emptied it so I will post some pics tomorrow. I appreciate all the help that you and the others here have provided.

BTW I bought 9 scarlet hermits and I am counting 9 living ones and one dead one. Was there a carcass in the empty shells I got from my LFS or did a scarlet molt? I do see a scarlet hiding deep in a live rock crevice which is unusual for them since I got them.
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Old 01-19-2010, 08:14 PM   #123
 
Water parameters:

PH 8.4
Temp - 78.1
Ammonia - 0
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 5
Hardness - 9
Calcium - 400 - dosing calcium tonight
Salinity - 1.024

All inhabitants are doing good. I may be down 1 scarlet due to a shell murder. Am only counting 8 and found a claw and a leg by an empty shell (may be an escape mechanism).

Mexican turbo snails are keeping the glass crystal clear and algae free... the problem is that they are leaving the hair algae on the rocks. No problem eating the one on the glass though. Any suggestions on an inhabitant who will help with that algae or will the snails just get to it eventually?
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Old 01-25-2010, 12:02 PM   #124
 
Just setup the 29Gal BIOCUBE

SORRY - DID not mean to post in an existing thread....

So I set it up over the weekend.

I maintained everything stock at this point.

I added 30lbs aragonite
I added 20lbs of premium pre-cured live rock (selected pieces with lots of coralline)

Here are my questions:
- What should I look for over the next days/week?
- When should I look to add my CUC?
- When and how often should I test?

I broke some rules, and am wondering if I will learn to regret it?

For instance, in speaking with LFS, they said tap water at this point is fine, and the only risk is algae growth? I did this because to get RO/DI water and fill 29 gallon worth would be a pain...thoughts?

Should I leave lights on normal cycle? What cycle is said to be best?
I purchased this power strip -->
http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2753204
Did anyone else use this and what do you think?

Last edited by Realistik84; 01-25-2010 at 12:13 PM.. Reason: OOoppss...
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Old 01-29-2010, 07:59 AM   #125
 
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I used the dual analog version of this and hated it. It wouldn't turn on and off at the right times, like the switches weren't sensitive enough. I would have bought the digital version, like the one you posted, but it only had two cycles (day and night). I needed three different time settings (daytime, actinic and nightime). I didn't like that the daytime and nightime switches were polar; when day is on, night is off and vice versa. That left no time for absolute darkness in my tank, and I have read that absolute darkness is important for zooanthelle growth. I got rid of the Coralife timer and bought regular digital timers.

As far as the tap water: For a reef tank tap water is a no-no. I should've read back a few pages to see if this is a reef or not, but anyway... Tap water can have harmful contaminants in it that are bad for reef tanks (inverts, corals and other sensitive creatures). That is why RO/Di is important. You don't want those contaminants building up in the system and destroying your reef. In FOWLR or FO, the fish are hardier than inverts and Amquel is probably sufficient to treat the water.
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Old 02-02-2010, 05:00 AM   #126
 
Tank has been up for over 2 months.

Current water parameters:
Temp - 78.4
PH - 8.3
Carb hardness - 7 (Dosing Kent Super dHK this morning)
Calcium - 480
Salinity - 1.025 - ran out of RODI water to top off and haven't been able to get out due to the weather and then work since Friday- will bring some more home from work tonight. My guess is salinity would be 1.024.
Amonia - 0
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 10
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Old 02-02-2010, 05:01 AM   #127
 
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About the protein skimmer, can you post some pictures of the skimate and neck. Lets see if it is doing what it should be.
After tinkering with the protein skimmer it has been performing much better for the last 4 or 5 days. Forgot to post pictures but I will tonight.
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Old 02-09-2010, 06:19 AM   #128
 
All new inhabitants are in the tank (Since Saturday AM).

Odd behavior... the two blue/green chromis appear to be schooling with the clownfish and the clowns don't seem to mind at all. The skunk cleaner shrimp is one of the most interesting creatures I have ever owned. I love watching him walk upside down on the water surface to run from side to side.

The new yellow watchman flared out a couple of times at the larger diamond watchman on the first day. Now they stay in little caves right next to each other and ignore each other when feeding time comes. The diamond actually gave up his original cave to the yellow watchman... the lazy yellow watchman didn't even have make his own cave.

All fish are voracious eaters. I know my protein skimmer is working well because it has kicked it up a notch since the addition of the new fish.

The red hair algae problem is almost completely gone with the exception of some very minor remnants on a piece of the base rock. This was corrected with a combination of me tweaking my protein skimmer and the addition of 9 blue legged hermit crabs last week.

Coraline algae is beginning to grow more on the second piece of live rock and little spots of it are starting to grow on the back glass.

Water parameters are staying constant. I dose super buffer dkh once a week. Calcium seems to be needed every 2 weeks. Water gets checked every 3 days.

All in all everybody is active, eating healthy and appear to be happy and healthy.

Current Stocklist:
2 false perc clownfish (1 black, 1 misbar orange)
2 blue/green damsels
1 yellow watchman goby
1 diamond watchmad goby
8 scarlet hermit crabs
10 blue legged hermit crabs
1 emerald crab
1 skunk cleaner

Also a pair of feather dusters have appeared on the live rock of late (I am positive they are feather dusters and have had them id'd by a reefer I know. Early morning I also notice a couple of tiny baby copepods on the glass. My guess is that the population is not growing that fast due to the livestock eating away.
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Old 02-09-2010, 10:30 AM   #129
 
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This is great. I really enjoy hearing when everything is coming together as planned. It makes all the conversations worth while.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NC Frank View Post
The new yellow watchman flared out a couple of times at the larger diamond watchman on the first day. Now they stay in little caves right next to each other and ignore each other when feeding time comes. The diamond actually gave up his original cave to the yellow watchman... the lazy yellow watchman didn't even have make his own cave.
I'm glad to hear this worked out as well. I know you were hesitant on this, so I'm glad my opinion did you well.

Nice job!
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Old 02-09-2010, 04:09 PM   #130
 
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This is great. I really enjoy hearing when everything is coming together as planned. It makes all the conversations worth while.



I'm glad to hear this worked out as well. I know you were hesitant on this, so I'm glad my opinion did you well.

Nice job!
I appreciate all the help that you and the others have provided. So far my only casualty was one blue green chromis in the first night in QT. Everything else is working out as planned... and while I won't yet call the system stable it is certainly getting there. It has been running for 11 weeks with no major issues but the algae bloom that has been taken care of without the use of any chemicals (cleaning crew, cutting back the light by a few hours for a few days and tuning the protein skimmer).

It is a much difference experience than setting up and maintaining a freshwater tank (and I do love my discus tank and my angels). Much more time and money invested initially but it is actually easier to maintain and so much more rewarding. Even the simplest of critters can be so interesting to watch. I get a kick out of watching the emerald crab scurrying around the sides of the tank at night (or during the day when he doesn't see me out there) and my favorite is the cleaner shrimp. They are characters.

I will definitely be leaning on you guys again in the near future. Once we move and I have my tanks setup I am going to be doing a larger reef tank. I initially wanted 120 to 150 gallons not counting the sump. Now I am shooting for 180 + a 55 sump minimum once we sell this house and move into one with a basement. :) My man cave is currently in the converted attic (and I love my man cave) but being in an attic means that I am not comfortable putting tanks much larger than say 75 gallons up here.
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