My 38 gallon upgrade and move...
I have been talking a lot about my 180 gallon tank lately, but first things first. I have an existing 38 gallon reef that in 4 weeks must be completely moved. This thread will document my progress and methods of moving this tank. The tank will be upgraded to a 58 bowfront in the new condo. I will document the 58 build in the pics and video area, starting in 2 weeks.
Here is the 38 gallon as it exists today:
My plan is to first set up the 58 gallon bowfront, the weekend of March 5th. A short 2 weeks later, the weekend of March 17th, all livestock will be moved from the 38 into the 58. There will be many steps involved designed to have a "mature" aquarium in place in only a 4 week time. When I say mature, i am not talking about Ammonia and Nitrite. It will be child's play to get Ammonia and Nitrite to zero. I also want a thriving copepod and amphipod population and I hope to avoid the typical algale and diatom blooms.
So... here goes!
Today I purchased 25 pounds of fully cured live rock. The rock if very porous and light weight for its size. If this rock were from Florida it would easily weigh 50 or more pounds. The LFS employee did not know the origin of this rock, but to me it appears to be from Fiji, based on weight and colors.
Before I left home I cleaned out a 20 gallon storage tote and filled it with 15 gallons of saltwater.
I spent a good 30 minutes at the LFS picking through the live rock containers, finding the perfect pieces. I look for rock which does not have an odor, is very light weight, has nice coraline growth, is porous, and has flat areas that make for easy coral placement. I always do my own digging and simply will not buy rock if I feel rushed or unwelcome. I weigh my own pieces and box my own rock. This is the deal. If you want my business, we do it my way.
I cover the rock with paper during shipment:
More next thread...
I should wear gloves when handling the rock, but i'm stubborn. I placed the rock pieces one at a time into the tote, making sure they are completely submersed.
Here is the final product, a 20 gallon storage tote which has become a temporary aquarium.
I should point out that any water which drains off the live rock during the trip home from the LFS will often have copepods and amphipods and other life. For this reason, I drain all of the water in the bottom of the styrofoam shipping container into the tote.
I will use several totes of this size during my move. Each will serve to fully cure live rock and as temporary housing for fish during the move. More to come as I take further steps.
im confused. i thought you were doing a bigger tank but it appears you have settled for a 58?
which brings me to my next question. what are the dementions of the 58? ive never heard of a 58 bow.
After the 180 is ready, I will use the 58 as a FOWLR. The 38 will be my quarantine.
ohhhh! gotcha, now i get it.
i guess i got confused when i saw "reef" but this is simply going to be the holding tank.
I tested the water in the live rock tote this morning. As expected, ammonia and nitrite are both zero.
A note on tests. Here is my first test:
I use the Aquarium Pharmasuticals FW/SW kit when testing Nitrite and Ammonia. I do this to save money, because I don't care about the exact reading. I just need a positive or negative. The actual level is unimportant. The Nitrite kit gives me a very accurate reading, as compared to the Red Sea Marine kit. The AP Ammonia test does a great job of detecting Ammonia if positive, but the zero reading is difficult to decifer, as you can see in the picture above.
Whenever I get a reading near zero for Ammonia using AP, I then use my Red Sea test to confirm the zero reading:
This testing became necessary because I was faced with an emergency. In my 38 gallon reef I have a pair of Ocellaris Clownfish. They have lived happily since last May, but recently the smaller of the pair has been getting chased by the larger Clownfish and by the Six Line Wrasse. This morning the chasing was relentless and the smaller Clownfish was breathing very heavy. I made the decision to acclimate the smaller Clownfish to the Live Rock Tote as his temporary home.
I will probably keep these fish separated until both can live comfortably inside my 180. If you are interested in seeing my acclimation technique, I will be posting an additional thread with pictures.
how did this go?
I was far to late in moving the Clown. I was worried for a few days and should have acted sooner. I am the most patient person in the world when it comes to this hobby and this time I should have acted quicker. His breathing never calmed down after I took him out of the display and by the time I went to bed he had passed. I'm glad I acted when I did, because he could easily have developed an ich outbreak.
These decisions are always difficult to make. I knew that moving him would increase his stress. But I knew that leaving him in the display would be high risk to the other livestock. End of the day, i'd make the same decision again.
As to the live rock... it is awesome. Great great rock. Loaded with life. I sat and watched copepods and amphipods scurrying all about for about 15 minutes yesterday. I am getting excited! Only 11 more days to the closing on the condo! I plan to have the 180 delivered 4 days later, assuming we get the rooms painted in time.
When am I going to have time to move this reef??? LOL HELP!!!!!
I'm sorry you lost your clown. I glad that at the end of the day you were satisfied with the decision you made regarding the situation you found yourself in. I'm curious as to when you say you should have acted sooner...does that mean if you had it all to do over again you'd do something else???
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