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Art_H
07/19/2015, 07:14 PM
I just thought I would take a few minutes to document my experience with "The Package" as it has been so positive!!!

First a little background - I'm essentially a "newbie" to the reef keeping hobby. I have had several aquariums over the years, including one fish-only salt water tank (but that was about 20 years ago), so I am somewhat familiar with maintaining water quality, tank maintenance, etc but I really have been bitten by the reef tank bug. I talked it over with the wife and she agreed to let me give it a try, so I purchased a 29 gallon CoralLife Biocube, hoping to start small and learn as I go. I also decided that I wanted to use aquacultured live rock and captive bred corals and fish so as to have minimum impact on the reefs.

So, long story I know, but I did a lot of research online and decided that I wanted to start off with Richard at Tampa Bay Saltwater! I gave him the size and dimensions of my tank and he took it from there. I dropped him an e-mail on Friday afternoon and he responded within an hour and said that he could have the first part of the package ready for shipment on Saturday morning - incredible! I agreed, and he had it at the air freight office by 8:30 on Saturday morning for an 11:30am flight on Southwest.

The package arrived right on schedule and I picked it up at about 4PM on Saturday. The boxes were in good shape and only one had any leakage, but when I opened it there was still plenty of water, in fact, I couldn't even figure out where it leaked. I had everything in the tank by 5:30 PM.

I am extremely pleased with the package contents! The live sand was great and there was even a sea urchin and a star of some kind in the bag. The sea urchin is doing fine in the tank but I haven't seen the star since I put it in - hopefully hiding somewhere. And the live rock was also amazing! The pieces Richard picked out were very pretty and fit well in the tank. This rock was far superior to anything that was available locally!

So for now, I'm keeping watch on the ammonia levels and will probably rearrange the live rock a little bit (just got it in the tank as I couldn't really see because the water was so cloudy, but it is perfectly clear this morning!

So far, my experience with the package has been outstanding!!! I will try to get some pictures of the tank later and post them, and I will post again after I receive Part 2 of the Package!

Great experience Richard! :dance:

Art Hallenbeck

Art_H
07/20/2015, 09:55 AM
ammonia reading between 0.50 ppm using API test kit..... tank clear and looking good.... prepared for water change should one be needed

liverock
07/20/2015, 10:16 AM
ammonia reading between 0.50 ppm using API test kit..... tank clear and looking good.... prepared for water change should one be needed

You are doing great Art......let it ride unless the ammonia goes over 1ppm...and I doubt if it will...the benefits of using real live rock and sand!

Next week...you will be ready for part two!

sea ya
Richard TBS
www.tbsaltwater.com :rollface::rollface::rollface:

Art_H
07/20/2015, 09:32 PM
ammonia level holding at .50 ppm

Art_H
07/21/2015, 01:27 PM
Ammonia level still at 0.50..... tank looks fine and nothing appears stressed.... based upon what I've read about the false positives using API ammonia test kits, I went to LFS over lunch and picked up his recommended kit (made by Salifert in Holland).... just re-tested my tank and sure enough it registers 0.0! Will use the new test kit for all ammonia tests from now on.

liverock
07/21/2015, 01:33 PM
Ammonia level still at 0.50..... tank looks fine and nothing appears stressed.... based upon what I've read about the false positives using API ammonia test kits, I went to LFS over lunch and picked up his recommended kit (made by Salifert in Holland).... just re-tested my tank and sure enough it registers 0.0! Will use the new test kit for all ammonia tests from now on.

Yup..you got to watch test kits.....they all say something different...if you get weird readings...and you tank looks happy..it is happy....from what I have seen with customers 99% of the time it is faulty kits....back in the day when I tested water...I always used the el-cheepo kits....they seemed to be the best and easiest...

Richard TBS
www.tbsaltwater.com :rollface::rollface::rollface:

Art_H
07/23/2015, 10:18 AM
Day 4, both morning and evening ammonia readings: API test consistent reading at 0.50; Saifert ammonia test was 0.0 for both morning and evening tests.... definitely will depend on Saifert test from here forward.

Morning, Day 5

Decided to take multiple tests this morning:

Ammonia (API test) 0.50
Ammonia (Salifert) 0.0
Nitrite (API Test) 0.25
Nitrate (API Test) 10
PH (API Test) 8.2 - 8.4

Things looking good - critters in the take look happy - soon on to package 2!

Art_H
07/23/2015, 10:30 AM
A few pics of Package 1 in tank - tank is a 29 gallon Biocube

BrettDS
07/23/2015, 10:44 AM
I got an urchin like that one in the sand with my package too. He's one of the family's favorite things in the tank. The kids have named him fuzzy.

He picks up shells and other things and carries them around on his back. Occasionally he'll pick up a live crab or snail, so I'll usually pull those off because they can't seem to save themselves. I'll let him carry around empty shells and other things he picks up. He's had two zoanthid polyps on his back for a few days now, but they don't seem to bothered by it and still open up every day.

He also seems to do a great job helping to keep the algae at bay

Art_H
07/24/2015, 11:46 AM
Readings looking good - Ammonia 0.0, Nitrite 0.0, Nitrate between 5-10

Art_H
07/27/2015, 10:48 AM
After 1 week in the tank, all test levels remained at or near 0.0, so I contacted Richard via e-mail on Friday night and told him I was ready for package #2 - he responded Friday night (even though it was well after business hours), and he had package #2 on the plane on Saturday morning!!!

The Southwest flight arrived on time at 1:30PM and at 3:00PM I called the cargo desk and the package had just arrived in the warehouse, so off to the airport..... had the 2 boxes loaded in my car by 3:45 and back at my house by 4:30PM. I had my grandson with me and he couldn't wait to open the boxes.

We opened up the critter box first, and I was completelyflabbergasted!!! In addition to all the promised critters (snails, hermit crabs, sea cucumber, star fish, etc) Richard included all sorts of extras - 5 different types of sponges, several gorgorians (including a beautiful purple fan!), 2 anemones, and several other critters!!!!

The second box contained the decorator rock, and it too was amazing! There were some beautiful pieces included, and all were very much alive - several with corals attached, and one piece with algae of some type and a sponge attached! Just beautiful!

My grandson and I inspected all the rock looking for any gorilla crabs, etc but we didn't find any, so we had all the rock in the tank and aquascaped by 5:30 PM or so. We took our time getting the critters acclimated but completed that task and had everything placed in the tank by about 8:00PM.

The tank looks absolutely incredible and far exceeded my expectations! Had I attempted to start this tank from scratch, without Richard's help, I'm sure it would have taken years, and a lot more money, to become as pretty as this one is (in only 2 weeks!).

Well done Richard!

Art

P.S. All the critters seem to be doing well - moving around the tank, including the star fish and the sea cucumber - anemones are open and actively feeding.... water test this morning was a little high though (ammonia up to 0.25, Nitrite up to 2.0), so I will do a partial water change later today

P.P.S I'll try to post some pictures in a bit

Art_H
07/27/2015, 01:56 PM
I've attached a few pictures below.... wish I could figure out how to make them bigger and put them inline, but oh well....

Art_H
07/27/2015, 01:58 PM
just a couple of more

platypusklr
08/08/2015, 03:28 AM
Nice looking tank! Glad your having a good experience with TBS.

figuerres
08/08/2015, 11:17 AM
Yeah Richards work aqua culturing rock in the bay seems to really pay off in getting a lot of good stuff in our tanks. and he tends to get us plenty of "extras" when he can :-)

timfederwitz
08/11/2015, 06:14 PM
Awesome stuff!! I *just* got the same tank and am planning on doing the package as well. Awesome to see your tank looking like that in just a couple weeks!!! Amazing.

flanole
08/24/2015, 07:57 PM
Any tank updates?

12_egg_Omelett
08/24/2015, 08:44 PM
That looks amazing. How fine is the sand that you get, is it similar to reef grade or oolite sand?

liverock
08/25/2015, 12:28 PM
That looks amazing. How fine is the sand that you get, is it similar to reef grade or oolite sand?

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2144250&highlight=d2mini&page=13

12_egg_Omelett
08/30/2015, 02:03 PM
amazing!

crtc_01
09/01/2015, 07:55 PM
I have been going back and fourth between the Coral Life Biocube and the JBJ nano cube. How do you like the biocube? Did you have to add anything additional to the kit? Thanks for your input.

sbeason
09/02/2015, 05:47 AM
crtc......Both tanks would do just fine depending upon what your plans are for livestock, the place you want to keep the tank, etc.,...

You just figure out which size package to buy from TBS that closely matches the size of the tank you will be purchasing.

-Steve

crtc_01
09/02/2015, 07:09 AM
Thanks Steve. I just wasn't sure if the stock lighting/filtration on the units is enough. The nanocube intermediate seems have more to it, not sure it is any better than what is on the biocube. I like Art's setup and I saw he was using the biocube. I would probably just keep a few clown fish and maybe one other species that would coexist.

JakeK
09/08/2015, 02:30 PM
Art, great looking rock. I love that coraline algae. did you order the regular live rock or the new eco rock from Fiji that Richard is now offering?

liverock
09/08/2015, 04:03 PM
Art, great looking rock. I love that coraline algae. did you order the regular live rock or the new eco rock from Fiji that Richard is now offering?

2.1 rock....

JakeK
09/08/2015, 10:16 PM
2.1 rock....

Thanks! It's on my list for my new 93 gallon custom.

timfederwitz
09/09/2015, 07:43 AM
After 1 week in the tank, all test levels remained at or near 0.0, so I contacted Richard via e-mail on Friday night and told him I was ready for package #2 - he responded Friday night (even though it was well after business hours), and he had package #2 on the plane on Saturday morning!!!



The Southwest flight arrived on time at 1:30PM and at 3:00PM I called the cargo desk and the package had just arrived in the warehouse, so off to the airport..... had the 2 boxes loaded in my car by 3:45 and back at my house by 4:30PM. I had my grandson with me and he couldn't wait to open the boxes.



We opened up the critter box first, and I was completelyflabbergasted!!! In addition to all the promised critters (snails, hermit crabs, sea cucumber, star fish, etc) Richard included all sorts of extras - 5 different types of sponges, several gorgorians (including a beautiful purple fan!), 2 anemones, and several other critters!!!!



The second box contained the decorator rock, and it too was amazing! There were some beautiful pieces included, and all were very much alive - several with corals attached, and one piece with algae of some type and a sponge attached! Just beautiful!



My grandson and I inspected all the rock looking for any gorilla crabs, etc but we didn't find any, so we had all the rock in the tank and aquascaped by 5:30 PM or so. We took our time getting the critters acclimated but completed that task and had everything placed in the tank by about 8:00PM.



The tank looks absolutely incredible and far exceeded my expectations! Had I attempted to start this tank from scratch, without Richard's help, I'm sure it would have taken years, and a lot more money, to become as pretty as this one is (in only 2 weeks!).



Well done Richard!


Just wanted to thank you for this thread again. My first shipment of the package came yesterday and is in my tank (haven't posted about it on my build thread yet, but will).

My experience so far has been just as good!