View Full Version : Having Fun Watching TBS Live Rock

01/18/2004, 01:19 AM

36 Gallon Bowfront Tank
Aqua C Remora Skimmer w/ Maxijet 1200 and the preskimmer
2 Maxijet 900 Powerheads
30" PowerCompact w/ Moonlites
ViaAqua 200W Titanium Heater
Plugstrip & 2 Outdoor Timers to Control the Lights
Spectrapure 90 GPD RO/DI System
32 Gallon Garbage Can for Water Changes
Heater for the Garbage Can
Using Instant Ocean Salt Mix

Purchased the 30 gallon package from Tampa Bay Saltwater. Ordered on Tuesday and they shipped the first half of the package on Wednesday. I figure the base rock and live sand were in transit for about 9-10 hour.

Got everything into the tank and my family watched the tank for two hours; pointing out every little movement of life in the tank. Only found 1 gorilla crab--got it out of the tank. There is 1 porcelain crab.

This is my second reef tank. My first was a 55 gallon tank w/ fiji rock and the fiji does not come close to what I have now. The TBS rock is teaming with life.

Water Test System:

Red Sea--Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, and pH
Salifert--Calcium, kH/Alkalinity

I like the Salifert tests a lot better. Less user error in interpreting the results.

Preliminary Water Test: Before adding live rock and live sand.

pH 8.2, Ammonia 0, Salinity 1.023, Temperature 76F, Calcium 400, kH/Alk 11.2/4.0 meq/L

Day One Water Test: After adding the live rock and live sand.

pH 8.2, Ammonia 0, Salinity 1.023, Temperature 76F, Calcium, 400, kH/Alk 11.2/4.0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 0

Day Two Water Test:

pH 8.0, Ammonia 0.25, Salinity 1.023, Temp 76F, Calcium, 400, kH/Alk 11.2/4.0, Nitrite 0.1, Nitrate 0

Dosed the tank w/ 2 tsp of DT Phytoplankton and hand feed some genus Colangia brine shrimp. There are a lot of these Colangia in the tank and I am only going to feed 5 of them; the rest of them are going to die because it is just too many to hand feed.

Day Three Water Test:

pH 8.0, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0.05, Nitrate 0

Day Four Water Test:

Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0.05, Nitrate 0, Calcium 400, kH/Alk 11.2/4.0, Temperature 75.5F

Made a 12.5% water change.

Water Test for Make-up Water for Changes:

pH, 8.2, Salinity 1.023, Calcium 420, kH/Alk 11.5/4.11, Temperature 75.8F

I bought 2 mercury thermometers and placed them both in the tank and they had a descrepancy of 4 degrees F. So I borrowed from my work a Digi Sense, Thermometer w/ a Type J thermocouple which I might add has been calibrated to check the water temperature of my tank and the garbage can. That is why I know the water temperature between the two has a difference of 0.3F. Tampa Bay says it is critical to have the water temperature the same or it will kill everything in the tank and void the warranty.

Dosed the tank w/ 2 tsp DT phytoplankton--will continue this every other day along with hand feeding the Colangia.

Also got three really nice lesser starlet corals; one of them is turning white. And various other sponges--yellow and blue.

Waiting for my tank to cycle. I am going to get a Salifert ammonia test to confirm the reading fo the Red Sea ammonia test and I will have the LFS test the nitrite to confirm its reading also.

I'll post some pictures later.

01/18/2004, 10:09 PM
Picture of TBS Live Rock

01/18/2004, 10:24 PM
Another picture

01/19/2004, 12:29 PM
It took my TBS live rock about 2 months to completely cycle to zero ammonia and nitrite. I was doing 30% water changes on a weekly basis during that time.
Over the last 10 months my brittle stars have had a population explosion, so the sand bed is well-churned.
I think TBS live rock is a great investment, provided you are willing to work at removing the predatory hitchhikers.

01/19/2004, 04:44 PM
I either got lucky or the predators are still hiding. I found one bad crab and so far I have not seen any mantis shrimp.

My ammonia has been zero since my.025 reading and my nitrite has been zero. I had a local LFS test the ammonia and nitrite with another test other than Red Sea and they too got a zero reading for both ammonia and nitrite. I am wondering if the tank has really cycled or if it is taking its own sweet time.


01/19/2004, 05:13 PM
draper4312, how do you like your lights...I am planning on going with those on the 30 gallon I am about to set up with TBS rock?

01/19/2004, 06:14 PM
The PC lights seem to be working; however, I have only had life in my tank for five days and I only have the lights on for five hours a day during the cycle period. My lights cost 177.00 at a LFS. I have read other threads regarding the T5 lights; I think they are the Tek 5's. If I would have researched more about lighting I probably would have gotten those. The T5's are more expensive since the hood does not include the bulbs and you can either get a 4 bulb or 6 bulb set up at each bulb is around 25.00 each.

Check out the T5 on this thread: http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=254435&perpage=25&pagenumber=22

By the way check out www.marineandreef.com if you want to learn a little about setting up a tank. It's a store and they promote their products but the advice they give helped me out; once I found them. I purchased a lot of my stuff without doing a lot of research.

01/21/2004, 10:55 PM
Day 5:

pH 8.1, Ammonia 0, Salinity 1.023, Temp 76.0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 0

Day 6:

Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0

Day 7:

pH 8.0, Ammonia 0, Salinity 1.024, Temp 75.8, Nitrite 0, Calc 390, kH/Alk 10.6/3.77 (Added 3 tsp. of Inland Seas Calcium Supplement)

LFS Water Test Results: Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0 w/ a Hagen test

Day 8:

Ammonia 0, Salinity 1.024, Temp 76.0, Nitrite 0, Calcium 400, kH/Alk 10.2/3.66

Cycling the first shipment of Tampa Bay Saltwater LR and sand went quick. Plus everything survived.

I can't wait to get my second shipment; I called TBS today and they are out of LR until Thursday or Friday. We are still finding new life everyday on the rock. And I have increased the lights to six hours a day.

02/10/2004, 10:07 PM
I got my first shipment of TBS on January 14 and then got my second shipment on February 4. The clean up crew has cleaned up most of the tank--I only added 12 of the 40 blue leg hermit crabs that I recieved.

A day after I added the second half I got an ammonia reading of 0.25 and nitrite of 0.1. Today is the 10th and ammonia is 0 and nitrite is 0.05.

On the 9th I added 10# of Tongan Branch that I got from a neighbor; he started his tank at the beginning of December and there is a distict difference between the TBS and Tongan LR. I got some really good shaped TBS and am very happy with it.

Basically in under one month I have set up a reef system using TBS. That is amazing! I'll post some pictures if I can figure out how to put up some nice ones.

02/11/2004, 06:38 AM
Very similiar to mine. My ammonia was 0 on the third day after adding the second batch, Nitrates are constant around 0.25.

02/12/2004, 06:38 PM
Make sure you check the rock carefully. I found 3 mantis shrimp in the 60 lbs I got recently 1 prior to rutting it in the tank and 2 after. Man they were a pain in the arse to get out of there.

02/12/2004, 07:42 PM
Haven't noticed any yet. I'll keep an eye out for them.