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Old 12/16/2014, 09:19 AM   #26
Cstaricansrfer1
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The build is getting closer to completion every day, and I am starting to get excited about putting water in the system soon.

The rocks that were bleached and given an acid bath have been in saltwater with a heater and powerhead for almost five months now, and have cycled nicely. I put some coralline-covered live rock from one of my other tanks in to help seed it, and it seems to be doing well.

I have been trying to build an easy-maintenance system that will encourage me to be efficient in husbandry. With all of the equipment easily accessible in the closet, cleanings shouldn't be put off, and with a water mixing station I can perform water changes much more easily.

I would like to give the seahorses the best chance possible at survival and have been doing a lot of research on potential issues that could arise. I came up with these, and will be adding to the list as I learn more:

-Temperature below 75F to prevent bacterial infections.
-It is best not to mix species
-Do not add fish due to the potential of introducing a new disease
-Find captive bred seahorses
-Only certain corals are safe. (I will have mostly gorgonians in the tank)
-Keep mesh over powerheads to prevent injury
-Feed several times daily. I will have frozen mysis (enriched occassionally) and
there is a LFS nearby that carries various live foods if it becomes necessary.


I'm sure there are other issues that I forgot to write down, but let me know if you have any suggestions. Thanks for reading.


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Old 01/03/2015, 08:34 AM   #27
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I hope everyone had a good holiday. I had a good time with family and friends, which also meant it limited the time I had to work on the tank. I did make some progress, however.

I painted the sump white on the outside back and bottom to make it look a little cleaner and so that it will be easier to see detritus building up in there. I got the glass cut for the sump baffles as well, so they were installed. Since the 20L is not very tall and to make me feel better about a power outage I made the return section as large as I could to still accommodate the skimmer and drains.



I also painted the back, bottom, and left side of the refugium. This is so I can spot any kind of waste a little more easily as well. The left side was painted so that there will be minimal light spill from the refugium light to the sump.





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Old 01/03/2015, 08:43 AM   #28
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Here are the sump and refugium in the closet. I also installed the drain line from the refugium back to the sump. I have it emptying into the return section so that pods that do travel there will hopefully have a better chance at making it to the DT.




This is how the drain line is secured to the wall. I cut a piece of 2x4 and painted it black to clean it up, and then attached the pipe to it with a plastic strap.




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Old 01/03/2015, 08:47 AM   #29
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Wow, looking good and I think your build is very well thought out. Good job!


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Old 01/03/2015, 08:54 AM   #30
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I have placed an order with BRS for most of the remaining supplies needed, including the protein skimmer, ATO, and loc line to finish the return. It should be here on Wednesday.

I'm trying to order glass for the overflow box, but have had a hard time finding a glass company that has black glass or something similar. I would rather the BA plumbing be hidden in the overflow. There are a lot of local glass shops in the area, though, so I am sure I will find something that works.


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Old 01/03/2015, 09:10 AM   #31
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Wow, looking good and I think your build is very well thought out. Good job!
Thanks!



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Old 01/08/2015, 10:21 AM   #32
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Updates!!

I received the three glass pieces for the overflow box a few days ago, so it has been constructed and curing for a while before it is set in the aquarium. The closest I could find to black glass was a gray tint, which I think will be fine for hiding the BA plumbing enough to not make it as noticeable.





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Old 01/08/2015, 10:27 AM   #33
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I also received a package from BRS last night with some goodies in it!



Reef Octopus INT-110



And one more because the dogs wanted to be included.




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Old 01/08/2015, 10:32 AM   #34
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Also in the BRS order was a Tunze Osmolator Nano 3152 and 3/4" loc-line that I needed to finish the return plumbing.

Here are a few pictures of what the fish closet looks like now with the skimmer and ATO installed

Protein skimmer fits perfectly!







I also got the lights on the DT hung, but not much to see there until water and livestock are in.

Getting closer and closer every day!!


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Last edited by Cstaricansrfer1; 01/08/2015 at 10:45 AM.
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Old 01/08/2015, 10:42 AM   #35
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Thanks for reading!

I want to thank my girlfriend for keeping me motivated throughout this build, as she has been a big part of the progress and it probably would have taken a lot longer without her. She is just as excited as I am to start caring for seahorses and has been a tremendous help.

Hopefully this thing will be up and running very soon! Next on the list is to silicone the overflow box in place, then let it cure for at least a week before it touches water to ensure it bonds properly.
I also need to finish the overflow plumbing, ventilate the fish closet, and set up a QT. Other than that, minor tasks need to be done here and there and it should be ready for filling!


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Old 01/09/2015, 10:24 AM   #36
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I am going to set up a 10 gallon tank for a QT with some fake macro for hitching. I plan on keeping the horses there at least 4 weeks so I want to get it up and running as soon as possible.

A few questions I have:
1. To seed the QT tank I could use a filter sponge that has been collecting bacteria from an established tank. Is this a good idea if I use a sponge that will be collecting that bacteria from a reef tank with other fish? I want to be careful not to introduce unwanted pathogens and if there is a chance they will be transferred then I would rather just let the QT cycle on its own.

2. Is it better to use a HOB filter for a QT or an open airline or air stone?

3. I am planning on ordering from seahorsesource as I understand they are reputable. What medications if any should I be running in the QT when I receive them? Or should I just monitor them?

Thanks in advance.


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Old 01/14/2015, 06:26 AM   #37
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I will be setting up the QT today so hopefully horses will be coming soon.

Any input about the questions in the above post would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you


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Old 01/14/2015, 07:02 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by Cstaricansrfer1 View Post
I will be setting up the QT today so hopefully horses will be coming soon.

Any input about the questions in the above post would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you
I don't feel as qualified to answer your above questions as more experienced keepers but I will give my opinion. When I ordered my seahorses I had meds on hand but did not use any. I would expect Seahorse Source to send you very healthy animals that most likely will not need anything.
An open airline tube with water changes or an HOB filter with floss or cartridges that is changed often and water changes would be ok I think. I don't know if 4 weeks quarantine is necessary, I would think half that would suffice since you aren't adding to seahorses you already have.


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Old 01/15/2015, 07:09 AM   #39
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Thank you for the response. Did you cycle your QT on its own or did you seed it with something from another tank?


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Old 01/15/2015, 01:28 PM   #40
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I cycled it with live rock from another tank. In my case, my seahorse tank shares a sump with my reef tank, (not ideal, I know but necessary since both need my chiller) so getting the rock out of my sump was no more risky for my QT than what I was doing with my seahorse tank. I do not necessarily recommend you do that.


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Old 01/16/2015, 01:27 PM   #41
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I cycled it with live rock from another tank. In my case, my seahorse tank shares a sump with my reef tank, (not ideal, I know but necessary since both need my chiller) so getting the rock out of my sump was no more risky for my QT than what I was doing with my seahorse tank. I do not necessarily recommend you do that.
I'm glad it worked out for you, but I understand why it could lead to a potential issue.


The QT has been filled and running for a few days now. What I didn't think of is the brute trash can that has been running for about 6 months now with the cycled live rock for the DT. I think I will end up throwing a small rock from there in the QT to get the cycle going.




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Old 01/16/2015, 04:29 PM   #42
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Great start..looking very good.


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Old 01/17/2015, 02:06 PM   #43
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Great start..looking very good.
Thanks!


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Old 03/10/2015, 09:55 AM   #44
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Progress has been slow with school and work taking up most of my time, but I have managed to finally finish all the plumbing and will be doing a freshwater test today on the system!






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Old 03/10/2015, 10:04 AM   #45
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Also, the QT tank is cycled and ready for seahorses. As long as there are no leaks in the main system today I will be ordering a pair soon. This way I can be certain the DT will be ready for them once their quarantine time is over.

The rock for the DT has been circulating in a brute trash can for about 8 months now which will hopefully make the cycle minimal.

Feeling optimistic that we will have ponies very soon!


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Old 03/10/2015, 02:44 PM   #46
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You can check the capability of the biological filter by CHALLENGING it.
Add some ammonia until you get a reading of about 6ppm ammonia and see how long it takes to clear. If it clears overnight, the cycle is ready.


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Old 03/11/2015, 10:58 AM   #47
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Joining in to this thread late, but I love the sump and refugium in the closet!


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Old 03/12/2015, 06:22 AM   #48
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You can check the capability of the biological filter by CHALLENGING it.
Add some ammonia until you get a reading of about 6ppm ammonia and see how long it takes to clear. If it clears overnight, the cycle is ready.
Sounds like a fun experiment. The nitrogen cycle has been complete for several months now in the rock bin, but it would be interesting to see the actual capacity of the bacteria population. Thanks for the input.


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Old 03/12/2015, 06:27 AM   #49
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Joining in to this thread late, but I love the sump and refugium in the closet!
Feel free to join in any time!

Thank you for the feedback. The closet should allow for maintenance tasks to be easier as the equipment is more accessible than it would be under the stand in my opinion.


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Old 03/16/2015, 02:13 PM   #50
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nice build, subscribed!


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