View Full Version : My 50gl tank build

12/29/2010, 02:03 PM
It has been a slow process, but I think I'm finally getting close. I use to have a fish only tank about 5 years ago before I went to college. Now I'm back and I am setting it up for reef.

1) First I filled the tank. Realized how bad my tap water is and emptied it.
2) Bought 65lb live rock and put it in the tank with water from the LFS while I waited for the RODI I purchased to come in. I realize now I had way to little volume as I was trying to save money for all the other things I wanted. During this time TONS of bristle worms and mini star fish died as well as other die off. :( The tank smelled terrible...I did a 100% water change with more LFS saltwater sometime in the middle of this 10 day period.
3) Once I got the RODI I emptied the tank completely and filled the tank from scratch, added 20 lb live sand with 30lbs standard white sand as the base and stacked the rocks. Took a lot longer than I anticipated. This was on December 6th. THE START OF THE CYCLE! Finally.
5) I purchased an Aqua C Remora skimmer that is working great...kinda loud. I also have a CPR Refugium that I put some live sand in. There w454 some small pieces of Chaeto that have been growing, but still nothing substantial.
4) The tank PAR have been pretty good from the start. Went up to .5ppm ammonia at the highest. Nitrate hit 10pmm. Now everything has been at 0 for a week! I have A TON of hair algae and it looks like some coraline is starting to grow. I have a few scattered polyps that seem to glow, especially at night when they open up largest.

I just ordered a CUC from reefcleaners.org and honestly, I can't wait! Who ever thought I would be so excited about a bunch of snails! I also ordered some chaeto, gracilaria, and mangroves for the refuge. I think I'm going to put the gracilaria in the DT.

I was going to wait a week or two so the CUC can get things in order and the tank can catch up to the load. I am new to reefing and wanted to start with some mushroom corals, but wasn't sure if I should get a fish first. I'd like to get a wrasse or a fish that likes to hide in holes since I have some great places in my LR. Any suggestions?

I am also in the process of getting a QT tank going. I think I'm going to get a 12gl nanocube that I can use for QT and occasional frags.

Sorry for the long post. Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated!

12/30/2010, 12:18 AM

12/30/2010, 01:21 AM
Sorry for the quality. I need a new camera...

This was day 10 or so when I started getting some brown algae growth.
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/5305479297/" title="IMG00142-20101216-0012 by vsco1128, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5202/5305479297_db8f641ee0.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="IMG00142-20101216-0012" /></a>

Here is the tank now.
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/5305480795/" title="PC290476 by vsco1128, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5121/5305480795_508ac0ddee.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="PC290476" /></a>
Not sure what these are. I have about 3 areas with these guys. Look like clusters of mini tube worms with green tips. They pop in if I bump the tank.
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/5305480943/" title="PC290482 by vsco1128, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5288/5305480943_4a3355b4bf.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="PC290482" /></a>

The HOB skimmer and fuge.
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/5305481099/" title="PC290483 by vsco1128, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5006/5305481099_58b15a604b.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="PC290483" /></a>

12/30/2010, 01:28 AM
It looks like you only have one powerhead. You need more flow in your tank. Maybe put a powerhead on each end of the tank.

12/30/2010, 01:32 AM
I just put in that Koralia 750 today. You can see it in the upper right of the second pic. It made a huge improvement on flow. Do I need even more on a 50 gl tank? Even though its a 50gl, it really only has 40-45 in the display area since it has the built in wet/dry.

12/30/2010, 01:14 PM
I am setting up a 50, what lighting are you using ?

12/30/2010, 03:27 PM
Dang thats alot of algae. Manual removal will help export the nutrients that are causing the bloom. Algae is to be expected in a new set up but frequent water changes and the additional flow will help you get on track.

01/01/2011, 08:42 PM
I'm using a cheap odyssea light from ebay with 4 39watt T5s. I'm hoping to eventually upgrade to LED, but for now these are doing just fine.

01/29/2011, 02:22 AM
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/5397143021/" title="1-28-11 by vsco1128, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5092/5397143021_099c084e83.jpg" width="500" height="333" alt="1-28-11" /></a>It's been about a month. After a couple weeks of manually removing HA there isn't a whole lot left. I got a coral beauty a week ago and it is doing well. Doesn't seem to eat the frozen brine shrimp I bought, but is always grazing on the LR in the tank and algae. I then purchased the frogspawn a few days later from a local reefer. I was really excited since it was my first coral and is doing great in the tank. I picked up a few frags two days ago; some pulsing xenia, a couple small purple mushrooms, and I believe some Armor of God zoas. I'm thinking about getting a pair of clowns soon.

01/29/2011, 04:26 AM
looking good