Finally! My 1st Marine Tank

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by nemo_jhb, 10 Aug 2014.

  1. nemo_jhb

    nemo_jhb

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    Hey guys,

    So I have finally managed to start my marine tank! It only took me 4 years! :tt2:
    I joined the forum in 2010, read up a lot, purchased a Boyu TL550, and then life happened. New home, renovations, new car, motorbike, holidays, blah blah blah. But there was something always missing.

    I recently purchased a second hand tank, stand, sump, plumbing & other equipment. The tank needed some work, so over the past month or so I've been busy with some DIY & also acquiring new toys for the baby. Yes, I say baby 'cos this hobby is a lot of work, let's not kid ourselves, however I'm sure once she matures there will be an overwhelming sense of achievement I cannot wait to experience. :lol:

    Anyways, this is what I've purchased:
    65 x 65 x 50 cube, black silicone, 8mm Clear-Glass/Starphire-Glass

    Stand after I upgraded the base support & added dolly wheels, removed surface rust, re-coated/painted stand with Hammerite and added LEDs. I know it's not the best idea to have wheels on your tank, but because I'm in an apartment I needed to be able to move the tank, even at a snails pace from time to time.

    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG]


    Removed the old terrible polystyrene from the tank & replaced it with high density foam.

    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG]


    Upgraded the old plumbing.

    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG]

    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG]


    Filling up my tank & aquscaping.

    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG]


    LED's installed on stand. I'm hoping this will create great ambient lighting, under, inside & behind the stand once the cabinetry is completed. The light changes via a remote to over 15 different colours.

    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG]


    DIY hood made, to help with evaporation, water noise & suicidal fish. It's 2mm clear Perspex, a few drilled holes, aluminium profile for the edging. I'm hoping the water condensation won't cause a problem for the lighting...?

    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG]


    Tank as it stands today

    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG]
     
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  3. nemo_jhb

    nemo_jhb Thread Starter

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    Some info on my set-up:

    Tank - 65 x 65 x 50 8mm Starphire cube
    Sump - compartment 1 = filter sock, compartment 2 = skimmer, compartment 3 = refugium, compartment 4 = return pump, compartment 5 = ATO.
    Skimmer - JNS Aquaria coneS co1
    Return pump - Sicce Syncra 3.0 (2500LPH)
    Heater - 2 x Sicce Scuba 200W
    Substrate - CaribSea Arig-Alive Hawaiian Black 27kg
    Rock - 15kg of CaribSea South Seas Base Rock.
    Live Rock - 15kg of Real Reef Live Rock, cured.
    Wave Maker - VorTech MP10
    Lighting - Pharos 90W LED with remote ( I've actually got 2 of these units, but one should be sufficient)
    Water - 4 stage RO unit with DI resin.
    Salt - Seachem Reef Salt

    I have not set-up my refugium, ATO or my skimmer yet. Will be setting up my skimmer in the week, I've bought egg-crate & need to make a platform as the sump is quite deep. Waiting for my ATO, it's been ordered, will setup the refugium soon, still doing research.

    In my skimmer chamber I am running a bag of Seachem Carbon Matrix (250ml) with an air-stone, was also considering adding a bag of Seachem Phosguard, Seachem Purigen & Seachem Matrix, with air-stones. Any thoughts on this? I've also read up a bit on Orca bio cubes. So any suggestions, comments will be appreciated...
     
  4. Gesiggie

    Gesiggie Challenge accepted

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    @nemo_jhb, congrats on finally starting her up!!

    Regarding the hood, It will definitely impact your lights, so it should be cleaned quite often. Have you considered just using a mesh-type cover, and living with a few more RO topups?

    The black panel with black substrate gives it a nice look, will hopefully bring out the best colors in all healthy corals to come.. :)

    The scaping leaves ample options for coral placement. Have you thought about what you plan to stock?

    Just a Q, is it my eyes or the pictures, or is the system not level? Looks slightly slanted to the right?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  5. nemo_jhb

    nemo_jhb Thread Starter

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    Cycling:

    I filled my tank last weekend, Sat & Sun & slowly heated the water. During this time I added my Live sand. On Monday I purchased my Real Reef LR & filled up the sump and turned on the return pump.
    I had a mishap on Tuesday & mistakenly broke my heater. Waited until Thursday to get my 2 replacements, during that 2 day period the tank was around 19.5C. This would have slowed down my cycle process I'm assuming.

    On Wednesday I used Seachem Headstart on my tank. The kit consists off Prime, Stability & Clarity.
    I used Prime & Clarity only once as per instruction.
    Clarity worked well clearing the cloudiness, however it turned my filter sock orange.
    I've been dosing with Stability for the past 4 days as per the instructions.

    Yesterday I did my 1st tests & here are my water parameters:
    Water Temp - 25.2C
    Salinity - 1.024
    PH - 8.1
    Alk - 4.0meq/l
    Ammonia (NH3) - 0 mg/l
    Nitrite (NO2) - 0.003 mg/l
    Nitrate (NO3) - 0.6 mg/l
    Calcium - 450 mg/l
    I used the Seachem MultiTest kit & Seachem ReefStatus Calcium kit for the tests.

    I have a few questions:
    I've started my tank in a very "sterile" manner. I wanted to have a fish-less cycle as I've read this is very beneficial in the long term. I did not add any decaying matter, food or ammonia to kick start the process. I'm also assuming I don't have any hitchhikers, at least ones that I can see, good or bad. Should I seed my tank with some good critters? Please note that the Real Reef Live Rock came cured & from a tank that had livestock.

    According to Seachem Stability as long as you dose as per instruction for 7 days u can add livestock to your tank at any time. My parameters seem decent to add my CUC crew soon. What are your thoughts on this?

    I have not added my lighting unit yet, when should I?
     
    Last edited: 11 Aug 2014
  6. nemo_jhb

    nemo_jhb Thread Starter

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    Thanks! I think I will consider a fine mesh going forward. Regarding the level of the tank, u are correct, my floor sits about 0.8 degrees off to the right. I'm actually going to wedge a piece of rubber mat under the right of the tank. The difference is about 0.7mm from left to right.

    Regarding livestock, I'm still considering my options. Definitely a pair of clowns, gobies & I'm leaning towards dwarf angles. Will keep basic starter corals & see from there.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  7. Gesiggie

    Gesiggie Challenge accepted

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    Are those wheels lockable?

    I love the dwarf angels, although most of them have the attitude of tigers... :)

    You can add your lighting at any time. I prefer to have all things running from day one, so you can see what effects your environment will have on the tank (natural lighting, room temp, room humidity, etc) while there are no livestock. That way you can learn what temp is acceptable at 3pm (for instance) when your lights are on.

    Also, bear in mind, that with your top being closed, your tank might run a bit warmer, so your light placement might have to be thought through regarding heat vs, light penetration...

    Loads of things to think about.
     
  8. butcherman

    butcherman Moderator MASA Contributor

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    nice start. just keep the wheels dry!
     
  9. BennieV

    BennieV

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    Hello Naeem
    Looking good so far, you just need the green tip anemone and Clarksi's
     
  10. nemo_jhb

    nemo_jhb Thread Starter

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    The wheels are not lockable, however I've placed a door stopper on 2 of the wheels, so the tank shouldn't go anywhere.
    I've heard that about the dwarf angels, so I'm going to take my time with my selection.

    I'm going to add the lights this week, just sorted out the skimmer, had to raise it with egg-crate. Just gotta figure out how to tune it correctly, heard its a daily thing.

    Regarding the temp, I'm looking to purchase a temp controller, hoping this will help.
     
  11. nemo_jhb

    nemo_jhb Thread Starter

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    Anyone have feedback on the above?
    Suggestions, comments or concerns will be appreciated :thumbup:
     
  12. nemo_jhb

    nemo_jhb Thread Starter

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    Some pics of my test kits & additives.
    I know it's still early days for most of these, but I figured I'd stock up in advance.

    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG]

    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG]

    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG]

    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG]

    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG]

    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG]
     
  13. Gesiggie

    Gesiggie Challenge accepted

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    I see that you have quite a lot of additives, but your test kit only provides data for pH & Alkalinity, Ammonia and Nitrite & Nitrate?

    Do you still plan on getting test kits for the other additives? (General rule is not to add anything to your system that you can not test for.)

    If your rock came from an established system, it is bound to have some life in it, that already seeded your system.

    If your parameters remain the same with 3 consecutive tests, (preferably at the same time of day, as pH will fluctuate), Then I would reckon you should be good to go.
     
    Last edited: 10 Aug 2014
  14. nemo_jhb

    nemo_jhb Thread Starter

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    I also have the Seachem Reef Status Calcium Test kit. I plan on getting the following test kits Phosphate, Silicate, Iodine/Iodide at the end of this coming month. Do you think I would need other kits, magnesium, iron, copper, strontium, carbonate+borate+total alkanility? I only plan on dosing once I know how to :p
    I've also got a vertex doser, but it's still early days...

    According to the sponsor I bought the LR from he said its cured & should seed my tank. He also said the cycle would be quick. I'm assuming the addition of the Seachem Stability & Arig-Alive helped speed up the process.

    I will test again on Monday & Wednesday. If it's stable then I'll probably introduce my CUC next weekend & maybe a pair of clowns.
     
    Last edited: 10 Aug 2014
  15. ccwilke

    ccwilke Majestic Pets Solutions Sponsor

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    Well done looking good cant wait to see this one stocked
     
  16. nemo_jhb

    nemo_jhb Thread Starter

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    Thank you :thumbup:
    I'll take better pics of the scaping once I have the light unit fitted.
     
  17. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    it will
    and can even grow algae in that water against the glass. Ever seen euro bracing that is too close to the water surface?

    A net will be better. I'm doing that now for my quarantine tanks.
     
  18. nemo_jhb

    nemo_jhb Thread Starter

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    What netting are you using?
     
  19. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    going to try the white plastic netting as from Chamberlains. I do think all the bigger hardware shops wil have it.

    The holes are about 5mm. Also with an aluminum frame.
     
  20. nemo_jhb

    nemo_jhb Thread Starter

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    Cool, will look into it
     
  21. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    Yes, if the live rock is already cured and you're using the head-start pack according to the instructions then you should be fine to start adding livestsock, slowly. Add something then allow a week to two weeks for the system to adjust to the new bioload, then you can add a bit more livestock. If you do it slowly over time then you shouldn't have any problems. It's when people add lots of livestock all at once that problems can occur. :)

    Also, don't go throwing all of those additives in until you understand what they all do and what they are needed for. Some of them may need to be added separately and a few hours apart.

    Do you have an RO unit?

    Keep the pics coming. :thumbup:
     
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