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Old 09/18/2018, 12:06 PM   #1
theSmurfette
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Newbie/advice needed

Hey y'all! I'm from Shreveport, LA. I'm new to aquariums in general. We had a few smaller ones growing up, the kids had a betta tank for a few years. My 13-year-old is using his birthday money (~$200) to setup a saltwater aquarium so we're trying to do this as inexpensively as possible.

We have a 56-gallon aquarium (30l x 18w x 24h) that was gifted to us by a neighbor. As far as equipment, I've purchased the following: 850GPH powerhead and 150W heater. I'm on the fence between a filter (likely a Marineland hob) vs. buying a 10G aquarium and making a sump vs. letting the live rock do its thing. We're pretty handy people so drilling the glass/putting the pipes together is a doable task. But I can't drill the bottom of my tank because it's tempered so I don't know what to do about that. A protein skimmer is out of the budget for right now. I've got 2 smaller live rocks to seed with and he's getting 40lbs ($40 deal on amazon) of dry rock, probably next week, plus I have a bottle of Seachem Prime to dose over a week once I get it all put together. I was planning to setup the sand and water this week to work on the correct salinity before putting in the live rock, as it is currently residing in a bucket in some saltwater with a towel over it. He's getting a test kit for a gift and we have a hydrometer as well.

Honestly, I've read so much conflicting information online that I just get more confused about what is needed. And the kid's is more interested in the kinds of coral and fish he wants than the nuts and bolts of setting it up.

Thoughts? Problems with my idea? What else do I absolutely have to have? We do have a lfs that I was planning on stopping in to get advice but they're sometimes so concentrating on how to make money that I'm concerned that I won't get good information.

Thanks!



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Old 09/18/2018, 12:26 PM   #2
Rover88
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Welcome to Reef Central!

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh....php?t=1031074


The above link is a /very/ useful guide of things to know. Now is the best time to start learning, before you own anything thats alive.

This is not an inexpensive hobby. It will cost lots of money. Its a big commitment. The light you need to grow coral alone is going to cost more then his entire budget, or pretty close to it.

While I won't knock an LFS I've never been too, I would never suggest buying anything they recommend without getting an online honest opinion from hobbyists first. Usually just to catch another opinion and draw your own conclusion.

So to answer some things you asked!

I would not bother with a Hob. You can just let the live rock do its thing. If you go bare bottom it will probably be easier so you can clean out any detritus (See: fish poo and excess food) that accumulates. You can clean it out with regular water changes.

You can alternatively drill your holes in the -BACK- of the tank, very high up. There are likely dozens of threads available to you about this process, but the goal is to have the holes in the tanks near the top, on the back, and you can plumb down to the sump. The return pump coming back up can either go through its own drilled hole, or just using PVC pipe over the side back into the tank.

You don't need a sump. A sump will help though as it increases water volume, but 56 gallons is pretty decent. Your sump however HAS to be big enough to handle the runoff if you lose power/turn pump off. So I think you'd need bigger then a ten gallon.

You do not need a skimmer. You can get by with lots of water changes instead. A skimmer is an investment you should consider for a tank that size.

You will /need/ RODI water, depending on your tapwater. A RODI unit will filter tapwater of any impurities (The big one being copper or silicates) that will either kill your inverts and corals, or just promote really bad algae growth in your tank. This is dependent on how 'pure' your water is, but I don't think many people would ever turn you away from one. You use this water for making your own saltwater, and top-offs.

Even if you buy saltwater from the fish store, you can't top up the evaporation from your tank with more salt water. The salt doesn't evaporate, only the water... adding more saltwalter throws your salinity higher. You should use RODI water, but filtered water you buy at the store will do. (I've heard, I've never used it.)

Test kit is good. You need something to measure salinity, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate. pH is important, but not always the most important. Temperature is important, but thermometers are cheap. As you start to get and want to grow corals, Calcium, alkalinity, magnesium, and phosphate will become kits you want to later get.

Start with dead rock, and dead sand... 'Live' sand is just wet and more expensive, its not really alive.

Most importantly.... take your time. Do not rush into this, as it just makes for expensive mistakes! You will hear very often the phrase 'nothing good happens fast in a reef tank'. That is something you'll want your youngin' to get ingrained with quickly! If you rush, it just means you might have a loss of livestock and happiness!


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Old 09/18/2018, 12:51 PM   #3
theSmurfette
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rover88 View Post
Welcome to Reef Central!

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh....php?t=1031074


The above link is a /very/ useful guide of things to know. Now is the best time to start learning, before you own anything thats alive.
Thank you for the link! I've been looking for something like that all over but couldn't find anything that broke it down well enough.

Quote:
This is not an inexpensive hobby. It will cost lots of money. Its a big commitment. The light you need to grow coral alone is going to cost more then his entire budget, or pretty close to it.
I bought this light. https://ebay.us/HrVLi0. If it doesn't last very long, at least we'll know if this is a long term project for him or not before we sink a lot of money into something that ends up in the attic never used.


Quote:
While I won't knock an LFS I've never been too, I would never suggest buying anything they recommend without getting an online honest opinion from hobbyists first. Usually just to catch another opinion and draw your own conclusion.
That's the plan. I don't want to go in there clueless and have them give bad information.

Quote:
So to answer some things you asked!

I would not bother with a Hob. You can just let the live rock do its thing. If you go bare bottom it will probably be easier so you can clean out any detritus (See: fish poo and excess food) that accumulates. You can clean it out with regular water changes.

You can alternatively drill your holes in the -BACK- of the tank, very high up. There are likely dozens of threads available to you about this process, but the goal is to have the holes in the tanks near the top, on the back, and you can plumb down to the sump. The return pump coming back up can either go through its own drilled hole, or just using PVC pipe over the side back into the tank.

You don't need a sump. A sump will help though as it increases water volume, but 56 gallons is pretty decent. Your sump however HAS to be big enough to handle the runoff if you lose power/turn pump off. So I think you'd need bigger then a ten gallon.
How big a tank would I need for a proper sized sump? I like the idea of putting all the equipment in a sump in a cabinet underneath.

Quote:
You do not need a skimmer. You can get by with lots of water changes instead. A skimmer is an investment you should consider for a tank that size.
I want to get one but the one's I've found are very expensive. I found some basic ones on Amazon for <$100 but not sure of the quality. This one has decent reviews http://a.co/d/iBre5aj but it looks like it uses an air stone at the bottom and I've read those are really bad ideas for salt.

Quote:

You will /need/ RODI water, depending on your tapwater. A RODI unit will filter tapwater of any impurities (The big one being copper or silicates) that will either kill your inverts and corals, or just promote really bad algae growth in your tank. This is dependent on how 'pure' your water is, but I don't think many people would ever turn you away from one. You use this water for making your own saltwater, and top-offs.

Even if you buy saltwater from the fish store, you can't top up the evaporation from your tank with more salt water. The salt doesn't evaporate, only the water... adding more saltwalter throws your salinity higher. You should use RODI water, but filtered water you buy at the store will do. (I've heard, I've never used it.)
Acknowledged

Quote:
Test kit is good. You need something to measure salinity, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate. pH is important, but not always the most important. Temperature is important, but thermometers are cheap. As you start to get and want to grow corals, Calcium, alkalinity, magnesium, and phosphate will become kits you want to later get.
He's getting the API Saltwater Master kit. I can also test calcium and alk with my pool kit. We have a saltwater pool that I check our levels regularly with a TF-100 (drop based not strips) so I'm comfortable with testing. Need mg & phos though

Quote:
Start with dead rock, and dead sand... 'Live' sand is just wet and more expensive, its not really alive.
I bought 30lbs of aragonite for sand bed. I have 2 small live rocks (8-10lbs?) that I got from Petco yesterday and will add 40lbs of dry rock when we get it next week.

Quote:

Most importantly.... take your time. Do not rush into this, as it just makes for expensive mistakes! You will hear very often the phrase 'nothing good happens fast in a reef tank'. That is something you'll want your youngin' to get ingrained with quickly! If you rush, it just means you might have a loss of livestock and happiness!
I've gotten him to understand that it'll be Thanksgiving/Christmas before we put anything in there. So if we get it to happen sooner than that, it'll be an unexpected surprise.

Thanks for all the help! It's greatly appreciated!


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Old 09/18/2018, 02:57 PM   #4
lngbrdz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rover88 View Post
Welcome to Reef Central!

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh....php?t=1031074


The above link is a /very/ useful guide of things to know. Now is the best time to start learning, before you own anything thats alive.

This is not an inexpensive hobby. It will cost lots of money. Its a big commitment. The light you need to grow coral alone is going to cost more then his entire budget, or pretty close to it.

While I won't knock an LFS I've never been too, I would never suggest buying anything they recommend without getting an online honest opinion from hobbyists first. Usually just to catch another opinion and draw your own conclusion.

So to answer some things you asked!

I would not bother with a Hob. You can just let the live rock do its thing. If you go bare bottom it will probably be easier so you can clean out any detritus (See: fish poo and excess food) that accumulates. You can clean it out with regular water changes.

You can alternatively drill your holes in the -BACK- of the tank, very high up. There are likely dozens of threads available to you about this process, but the goal is to have the holes in the tanks near the top, on the back, and you can plumb down to the sump. The return pump coming back up can either go through its own drilled hole, or just using PVC pipe over the side back into the tank.

You don't need a sump. A sump will help though as it increases water volume, but 56 gallons is pretty decent. Your sump however HAS to be big enough to handle the runoff if you lose power/turn pump off. So I think you'd need bigger then a ten gallon.

You do not need a skimmer. You can get by with lots of water changes instead. A skimmer is an investment you should consider for a tank that size.

You will /need/ RODI water, depending on your tapwater. A RODI unit will filter tapwater of any impurities (The big one being copper or silicates) that will either kill your inverts and corals, or just promote really bad algae growth in your tank. This is dependent on how 'pure' your water is, but I don't think many people would ever turn you away from one. You use this water for making your own saltwater, and top-offs.

Even if you buy saltwater from the fish store, you can't top up the evaporation from your tank with more salt water. The salt doesn't evaporate, only the water... adding more saltwalter throws your salinity higher. You should use RODI water, but filtered water you buy at the store will do. (I've heard, I've never used it.)

Test kit is good. You need something to measure salinity, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate. pH is important, but not always the most important. Temperature is important, but thermometers are cheap. As you start to get and want to grow corals, Calcium, alkalinity, magnesium, and phosphate will become kits you want to later get.

Start with dead rock, and dead sand... 'Live' sand is just wet and more expensive, its not really alive.

Most importantly.... take your time. Do not rush into this, as it just makes for expensive mistakes! You will hear very often the phrase 'nothing good happens fast in a reef tank'. That is something you'll want your youngin' to get ingrained with quickly! If you rush, it just means you might have a loss of livestock and happiness!
Lots of good info in here. Id also thrown in again BE PATIENT. Have yor son find a tank he likes made by one if the reefers here thats similar in size to his, then emulate it. Ask the owner questions and ideas. I don't think any of us on here wouldn't be willing to help out. Not everything is expensive. Used is cheap but you run risks. There are companies IE chinese site aliexpress or other companies like southern california aquariums that offer cheaper alternatives to the high demand. Their skimmer is not the highest quality but it's cheap and it works. Good luck and have patience


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Old 09/23/2018, 12:42 PM   #5
theSmurfette
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So we went to the lfs on Friday for recommendations on start-up. We are now cycling with Seachrm prime and stability being added once daily to help with bacteria load. We are waiting on our dry rock which should be here this week. I think Iím going to add a 14 l-ish gallon sump using a Rubbermaid container, just to last until petcoís dollar a gallon sale. I am also going to use an overflow made out of PVC. Probably have dual overflows to not run into a problem with a clog. I know itís not the best idea but I canít afford to replace this tank if I crack it if I drilled it. And all the other hob overflows just seemed far overpriced for what youíre paying.




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Old 09/23/2018, 12:49 PM   #6
Jason9488
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I see you used Prime.....did you use tap water?


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Old 09/23/2018, 12:59 PM   #7
theSmurfette
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I see you used Prime.....did you use tap water?


Yes. My lfs recommended that we start with treated tap since it was such a large volume and then go with rodi for changes following that.


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Old 09/23/2018, 04:25 PM   #8
outssider
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if I were you (and I was once) i'd do a lot of research (and I did) before going any farther. Using tap water isn't the best idea......you have no idea what is in your tap water


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Old 09/24/2018, 11:15 AM   #9
Rover88
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Yes. My lfs recommended that we start with treated tap since it was such a large volume and then go with rodi for changes following that.


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That was terrible advice if you do not know what is in your tap water already. Hopefully it does not cause you issues. It will take you an extremely long time to remove all impurities that may be there via water changes, and could lead to guesswork down the road on what is causing you issues you may run into.

You only need to add prime once, when you first add tapwater. Adding it again after that won't really accomplish anything for you, and can actually hurt the cycling process. It detoxifies ammonia, but while you are cycling you WANT ammonia to be there. The reason you add it at the beginning is to get rid of chlorine if you are using untreated tap water. If there is nothing live in there now, let any ammonia that is going to occur occur!

Hang-on back overflows are made by a variety of companies, and come with many reviews. Some people swear by them. Other people don't like them. My issue with them comes from their unreliability... I'd rather no sump, then risk using a HOB overflow, but that is my personal opinion and I know dozens of other reefers use them with no issues. Just be sure to test and simulate multiple power outages and ensure when power comes back on and your pump kicks back in that the overflow works. Otherwise your sump will run dry, and your tank will spill the excess all over the floor (5-10 gallons in a sump your size, depending on setup).

Nothing wrong with using a tote as a sump, either. Some people use them as full-time sumps, or those large horse-feeding troughs.

As for that light, at a glance I can't tell how good it is. There are a lot of no-name lights that will suffice, but I'd advise not investing a lot in coral and getting like one test-coral to see how well it'll do...


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Old 09/24/2018, 11:46 AM   #10
theSmurfette
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That was terrible advice if you do not know what is in your tap water already. Hopefully it does not cause you issues. It will take you an extremely long time to remove all impurities that may be there via water changes, and could lead to guesswork down the road on what is causing you issues you may run into.

You only need to add prime once, when you first add tapwater. Adding it again after that won't really accomplish anything for you, and can actually hurt the cycling process. It detoxifies ammonia, but while you are cycling you WANT ammonia to be there. The reason you add it at the beginning is to get rid of chlorine if you are using untreated tap water. If there is nothing live in there now, let any ammonia that is going to occur occur!

Hang-on back overflows are made by a variety of companies, and come with many reviews. Some people swear by them. Other people don't like them. My issue with them comes from their unreliability... I'd rather no sump, then risk using a HOB overflow, but that is my personal opinion and I know dozens of other reefers use them with no issues. Just be sure to test and simulate multiple power outages and ensure when power comes back on and your pump kicks back in that the overflow works. Otherwise your sump will run dry, and your tank will spill the excess all over the floor (5-10 gallons in a sump your size, depending on setup).

Nothing wrong with using a tote as a sump, either. Some people use them as full-time sumps, or those large horse-feeding troughs.

As for that light, at a glance I can't tell how good it is. There are a lot of no-name lights that will suffice, but I'd advise not investing a lot in coral and getting like one test-coral to see how well it'll do...
Well, it's done and I'm not going to completely change out the water. I assume that he is aware of the contaminants found in our local water supply and feels that Prime treatment is adequate. They have an excellent reputation in the local saltwater community so I trust their advice. Over time and water changes, the contaminants should become so diluted that it shouldn't affect anything.

I'm going to have dual overflows to avoid issues with clogging. The setup is very similar to how a drilled overflow works, it just uses hydrostatic pressure to push it up and over the back of the tank to get to the sump. We're handy people so I don't doubt that we can modify the design if we run into problems with keeping the system primed. I have a whole home generator for power outages and will probably add a small UPS for the 90 seconds it does take to switch over.

Comparing the light I purchased with a Current LED, my lighting is very similar. The only difference is that the Current has more blues in a slightly different wavelength, I think. It has a night and day setting. I'll eventually upgrade but, for now, it'll do its job while we figure out our salt tank (and remaining in my son's budget).

What is the recommended pump flow rate for a sump return? 200GPH would turn my tank over 4x/hour.


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Old 09/24/2018, 12:15 PM   #11
Rover88
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Well, it's done and I'm not going to completely change out the water. I assume that he is aware of the contaminants found in our local water supply and feels that Prime treatment is adequate. They have an excellent reputation in the local saltwater community so I trust their advice. Over time and water changes, the contaminants should become so diluted that it shouldn't affect anything.

I'm going to have dual overflows to avoid issues with clogging. The setup is very similar to how a drilled overflow works, it just uses hydrostatic pressure to push it up and over the back of the tank to get to the sump. We're handy people so I don't doubt that we can modify the design if we run into problems with keeping the system primed. I have a whole home generator for power outages and will probably add a small UPS for the 90 seconds it does take to switch over.

Comparing the light I purchased with a Current LED, my lighting is very similar. The only difference is that the Current has more blues in a slightly different wavelength, I think. It has a night and day setting. I'll eventually upgrade but, for now, it'll do its job while we figure out our salt tank (and remaining in my son's budget).

What is the recommended pump flow rate for a sump return? 200GPH would turn my tank over 4x/hour.

If you trust the LFS, then by all means go on their advice.



In a loss of power, your tank will only restart your overflow if the siphon remains unbroken. Once the siphon is broken, hydrostatic pressure can't push over the top of the pipe at the U-bend... without also pushing over the sides of your tank onto the floor.

I know newer models include an air-pump to draw out air from the siphon tube. That is the most common reason for failure, bubbles in the tank build up at the top of the inverted' U' that goes over the tank and cause it to lose siphon. If you are handy you'll be able to figure out a way to make a similar system yourself I'm sure!





The light you got has more white lights at a higher value, while the orbit marine one has a higher blue light spread, with the whites at a lower value. (More 6.5K white rather then all 10K white)

The reason for this is white light in a reef tank tends to promote algae growth more then blue. But lights are the area of reef-equipment I am the least familiar in, so I'll have to leave that for someone else to weigh in on more then I can. My lights came with my tank when I bought it, so I've never delved deep into researching them.


Pumps are a little unreliable to use the rated GPH because it always drops off once you elevate. However the flow-rate in your tank can also be bolstered by powerheads, so it can be split up between powerheads or returnpump.

Commonly tossed around numbers I've seen is you want to limit your sump flow rate to about 3-4x the tank volume, but the flow in the tank should be around 10 to 20 times the tank volume. I believe that was the most common number I found for a basic reef tank, and its where my own is at, but I know people with SPS sometimes run more flow then even that.

That being said, I was looking for LPS and soft corals. If you are doing fish only I don't know if it needs to be that high.

So if you had a sump, you'd want 200 GPH to the sump at the high end, but you'd also want another 800 to 1800 GPH of flow in your tank from powerheads.


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Old 09/24/2018, 01:25 PM   #12
theSmurfette
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So if you had a sump, you'd want 200 GPH to the sump at the high end, but you'd also want another 800 to 1800 GPH of flow in your tank from powerheads.
The pump has 160 GPH or 265 GPH options. My powerhead is 850 GPH.


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Old 09/24/2018, 01:42 PM   #13
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Sounds like you are just about golden. Most DC return pumps are variable, and AC return pumps can be controlled with a ball valve, so really just aim high as you want to go and you can tune them down later. My return pump runs at about 40% open.


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Old 10/02/2018, 02:33 PM   #14
theSmurfette
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Ok, so we bought a bigger tank. We now have a 75g tank from the Petco sale. It was supposed to just be a 29g to use as a sump and we walked out with that instead. The 56 gallon is now going to be used as a sump. I know it's a little tall but I don't want to cut it down since we may later use it as a tank eventually. The plan is to drill the back and install a Herbie overflow. I'm on the fence between using 1 central overflow or 1 in each corner. Thoughts?

I'm going to buy a 20L during the Petco sale and take it apart to use the pieces as baffles in my sump. Can't buy glass that cheap! I'll have the bottom piece left over so I was thinking of cutting it in half to use as my overflow housing, especially if I only use 1 central overflow.

I've seen some interesting DIY skimmers from PVC with an air stone. I'm a why buy it when I can make it kind of gal. If it doesn't work, I'll know by the first of the year when I can buy a normal one. I've got a 400GPH water pump coming for my return.

We have brown algae as of yesterday in the current setup. Is that what people mean by ugly tank phase? My son wants to clean it out. Water is otherwise clear.


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Old 10/03/2018, 11:37 AM   #15
Superbikejay
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Sounds to me like cyano which is somewhat normal at this stage but your initial tap water is probably a contributing factor and could make it much harder than otherwise to be rid of it completely.


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Old 10/03/2018, 11:47 AM   #16
Rover88
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Hi Smurfette,

If the algae looks like a dusting of brown on the rocks, sand, and glass it is likely just diatoms.

This is a natural part of every tank (regardless of RODI or tap water) and is caused more by silicates from your sand then anything else, and it should go away on its own naturally over time as it eats itself out of 'fuel'.

Tap water that has silicates in it will prolong this, but eventually it will still eat itself out and go away.


If its not a light dusting and is instead more like a thick carpet or mat of algae, it would be cyano bacteria... Probably. You can help get rid of it by simply sucking it out of the tank or directing more flow at the places its accumulating. I did not get any cyano during my cycle and break in period except for a single small patch very high in the tank on the loc-line of my overflow. It never spread anywhere else.


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Old 10/12/2018, 07:37 AM   #17
theSmurfette
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Tested the tank last night.

pH: 8.0
Ammonia: 0
Nitrites: 0-0.25
Nitrates: 0
Alkalinity: 140 ppm (used my pool kit (uses color change with drops) for that)

And another chromis bit the dust last night. I think from the big one messing with it. I'm done with fish for a while. How long should should I wait before adding more fish? I used Stability along with live rock to get it started so I'm pretty sure it's cycled. I trusted the lfs that I was good to start with some fish and I had 2 die in the first week. That irritates me quite a bit. We're not talking about $1 goldfish here.

We have the beginnings of coraline on the live rock and a decent diatom bloom, which the CUC is working on. Just put in 40# of dry rock when we set up the 75g. There's 19g of RODI and 40-ish of tap in the DT. We haven't filled it up completely because we still have to do plumbing down to the sump. After draining the sump, we have ~12g of water (all tap from original fill) that was in the sump aquarium just sitting there for a week. Can I re-use that? Or should I throw it out because anything good in it has died from a lack of water circulation?

I have 1 chromis left & CUC, 3 snails (Nassarius & Astrea, I think) and 3 hermits. I got some chaeto yesterday which is just floating around in the DT tank until I can get my sump running. Sump baffles are going in this weekend so that should be up and running next weekend at the latest.


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Old 10/12/2018, 08:03 AM   #18
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My suggestion would be to slow down. Don't worry about alkalinity right now, we're more focused on ammonia, nitrites and nitrates at this point. Alkalinity really doesn't come into play until we start adding coral.

from the looks of your readings it looks like you're cycled although the 0.25 of nitrites concerns me a bit.

Definitely don't add anymore fish until you have your tank completely plumbed and filled.

with only approx. 59 gallons of water in the tank and the sump not running is there any flow at all in the tank? I'm hoping there is but if not get a powerhead in there and direct it towards the surface so you get some gas exchange going.

I'll be honest, I wouldn't have added anything to the tank until it was plumbed and filled but were a bit past that now so no need to beat a dead horse.

As far as the 12g in the sump I would just toss that, nothing lives in the water column, all your bacteria is on/in your rocks and sand. you could take all the water out of your tank and replace it with all new water and your tank will be completely fine, so yeah get rid of that 12g and replace it.

So to sum up, slow down, get the tank finished i.e. plumbed and filled. I would then give it another week after that. Test your water again and see where your parameters are, post them here. You'll most likely be good to go but lets make sure first. After that you can probably start to add fish...slowly. I don't know what kind of fish you're looking for but I'd start with a pair of clowns and see how they do and go from there.

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Old 10/12/2018, 08:13 AM   #19
theSmurfette
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Originally Posted by tjm9331 View Post
My suggestion would be to slow down. Don't worry about alkalinity right now, we're more focused on ammonia, nitrites and nitrates at this point. Alkalinity really doesn't come into play until we start adding coral.



from the looks of your readings it looks like you're cycled although the 0.25 of nitrites concerns me a bit.



Definitely don't add anymore fish until you have your tank completely plumbed and filled.



with only approx. 59 gallons of water in the tank and the sump not running is there any flow at all in the tank? I'm hoping there is but if not get a powerhead in there and direct it towards the surface so you get some gas exchange going.



I'll be honest, I wouldn't have added anything to the tank until it was plumbed and filled but were a bit past that now so no need to beat a dead horse.



As far as the 12g in the sump I would just toss that, nothing lives in the water column, all your bacteria is on/in your rocks and sand. you could take all the water out of your tank and replace it with all new water and your tank will be completely fine, so yeah get rid of that 12g and replace it.



So to sum up, slow down, get the tank finished i.e. plumbed and filled. I would then give it another week after that. Test your water again and see where your parameters are, post them here. You'll most likely be good to go but lets make sure first. After that you can probably start to add fish...slowly. I don't know what kind of fish you're looking for but I'd start with a pair of clowns and see how they do and go from there.



Keep the questions coming, we love to help.


Yes, thereís a 850gph powerhead in the tank for flow. The water levels only about 2-3Ē from the top so Iím guessing on the water thatís currently in it. I know I added 12g of salt RODI and 7g of fresh RODI and guessed the rest. I indulged my kid in getting the fish and now I regret it.

The 0-0.25 was because the color didnít match either color on the card really. It was a purply-blue color (API kit).


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Old 10/12/2018, 08:21 AM   #20
tjm9331
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ok great, much more water in the tank than I first thought...awesome.

Those API kits can be a bit hard to read which is why I suggested to give it another week after getting the tank completely filled and testing again. You're most likely cycled but always better to be safe than sorry.

So all that needs to be done really is to finish off the plumbing, fill it up and get the sump running. Then get the Chaeto in the sump cause its not really doing much in the display, well it is but its unsightly lol

I know how it is when it comes to kids and fish, when I started my first tank my daughter was 4yo all I heard while I'm setting it up was when can we get nemo, when can we get nemo. I had to resist getting that first fish until the tank was ready, then I made the mistake of adding fish without quarantine. Definitely don't make that mistake.

If you don't have a quarantine/hospital tank I would suggest getting one, Petco is having there $1 per gallon sale right now and you can get a 10 or 20 gallon tank cheap. A small heater and hang on back filter is all you need. Trust me it will pay for itself in the long run, theres nothing worse than finding out all your fish have ich then having to take them out of the display tank and having the DT sit fallow for 90 days.

If you're absolutely against getting a quarantine tank then at least put your fish through a tank transfer method. You can use 5 gallon buckets for this and it will at least lower the chance, if not eliminate the chance of getting ich.


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