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Discussion Starter #1
Hi TFK!

After much debate and research, I have finally decided to plunge into Saltwater after many years of Freshwater tanks. I've seen a ton of controversy as far as "What size is the easiest to start off with?" With many people saying smaller is easier, and others saying that maintaining a reef setup in a smaller tank is much more difficult. Anywho, I decided on a smaller tank to start off with to avoid the higher costs involved considering the price of rock and the equipment required for larger tanks.

I'm still in the 6-week cycling stage right now and only have my basic setup but can't wait to start adding coral after the cycling period. I have all of my necessities, so this isn't a help thread, just something to document my journey.

So far I have: Live Sand, Live Rock, Lights (2x 36W 1x 10k & 1x Actinic) My Heaters, Filters, Power Heads, and some simple base rock I used to build on.

I still have to get my circulation pumps installed and test for dead spots, but so far I'm having a pretty good time (despite the expenses).

I have a few low-res pics from after adding the live rock, it's a little stirred up due to the sand though.





Looking forward to documenting and sharing this experience with you guys ;-)

Any suggestions or recommendations? Feel free to tell me, I'm pretty new to SW so I'll be happy with any advice you can offer!
 

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You may have to arc the circ pumps twards the surface as sand will kick up rather easy. Also if you are using a hang on back filter rinse the cartridges frequently as to avoid nitrate build up.Once you have had an algae bloom and you get some readable nitrates then it's about time to add some corals,after a water change of course.Start slow as you know and ask alot of questions as patience and research\learning are key to success in the marine hobby.

I will give you a coral once your tank is ready,just let me know.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You may have to arc the circ pumps twards the surface as sand will kick up rather easy. Also if you are using a hang on back filter rinse the cartridges frequently as to avoid nitrate build up.Once you have had an algae bloom and you get some readable nitrates then it's about time to add some corals,after a water change of course.Start slow as you know and ask alot of questions as patience and research\learning are key to success in the marine hobby.

I will give you a coral once your tank is ready,just let me know.
Thanks for the advice and I appreciate the free Coral offer as well!

I installed my Circulation pumps today and cleared up the dead spots in the tank the best I could, I added about 9Lbs of additional rock to fill in the areas around the aquarium. Again, sorry for Low-Res pics, all I have right now if my cell phone for pictures and eventually need to go buy a decent camera since I sold my last one. :lol:

Some of the rock is a little "Out of place" right now as I haven't taken time to re-arrange everything like I want it to be, but for the most part I simply wanted to get all the Rock for the aquarium. When I re-arrange the rock tomorrow it'll have better flow areas for maximum bio-growth.

I have plenty of "Free" area in the aquarium for LiveStock, it may not seem so considering how it looks right now, but it'll look a bit better once I go through and arrange the rock :lol:

The "Middle" is actually hollow right now since it's bridged off of two pieces of base rock which I intend to remove since the base rock is rather moot now considering I have a few sturdy pieces of live rock I can build from.



 

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Wow, looking good! Can't wait to see what it will look like down the road! :-D
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I found Mushrooms!







(This one is in between the two rocks, it's greenish, kinda hard to tell from my lovely low-res photos. Sorry!)
 

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Nice Score! When things start popping out of the rocks it becomes exciting.Must be some pretty good live rock.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I finally got around to locating my old camera, it's not the best camera in the world, but it takes decent shots (Fuji FinePix S4250).

Here's a FTS and another decent shot of the Mushrooms coming out of the LiveRock. Ignore the Damsel; He'll go back as soon as I get the time to net him out and exchange him for the actual LiveStock that will be going in here. (Oh what joy that will be).


(As you can see; The Diatoms are starting to take over.)



Also; I have something growing out of my LR but I have no idea what it is, I've did some checking around and I can't really find anything about it. Unfortunately since my battery did die in my better camera, I did have to take this with my low-res phone.

 

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Discussion Starter #14
Those look like brittle star legs.
After looking up some images, that does appear to be what it is indeed (They look exactly like that actually).

It appears that I have all sorts of hitch hikers with this Live Rock. Pretty excited to check it again in a few days and see what else I can find.

Thanks Bert!
 

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WOW, the tank rocks! I love it!!! :)
I demand more pics :p
 

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Discussion Starter #16
WOW, the tank rocks! I love it!!! :)
I demand more pics :p
I probably won't be doing anymore photos unless I can find any new critters crawling from the rocks; I will likely begin more picture taking when I get some Coral in the aquarium, not much else I can take pictures of at this point ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I decided to take some more photos for my documentation purposes considering I can literally see the Diatoms spreading by the hour. I'm hoping that they run out of silicate eventually and die off, I do know that the sand I added did have a fair amount of silicate. I'm just hoping my top off water doesn't have any trace of silicates :-(

Anywho; enjoy my Diatom infested aquarium :lol:













My cycle is quite near to the end, so I'll be able to add some diatom feasting snails at some point to clean it up.
 

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haha, yay - more pics! I knew you give in!!! :p

Love all the diatom bloom so looking forward to the corals in there!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Welp,

Time for another update;

No photos (yet) since my tank is still recovering from the disassemble I had to do in order to remove the damsels to take them back (Yes, I learned my lesson).

Anyhow; badxgillen sent me package with some goodies (Thanks again!) to help control my algae and some other stuff to help fill up my aquarium.

I went today and got some Button Polyps, Xenia, and picked up my actual aquarium fish; Six Line wrasse and Royal Gramma, I got some Turbo snails and blue leg hermits (Bert also sent me some of these) while I was there to start up me clean up crew.

I'll get some photos up later this evening once the tank clears up :shock:
 

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Discussion Starter #20

^ Clean Up Crew

^ Clean Up Crew

^ Clean Up Crew

Star Polyp, hasn't fully came out since I added it. But it's starting to come out!

^ Polyp from badxgillen, hasn't came out yet.

Button Polyps.
 
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