First Marine Tank

Joined
22 Aug 2008
Posts
91
Reaction score
0
Location
Cape Town
Just would like to say HI to everyone, this being my first post and all :wave2:

OK! Here goes.

A week ago I purchased a Boyu TL-550 from Sam's Aquarium in Bergvliet. These are the steps I have taken so far.(FYI, if you are unfamiliar with this tank please point your browser at the link below.)

http://www.boyuaquarium.com/en_ArticleShow.asp?ArticleID=347)

1. Cleaned the tank with a clean damp cloth.
2. Added well cleaned aragonite, about a 5cm base.
3. Added artificial rock piece.
4. Added 1.7kg of Figi live rock. The live rock was broken up using a hammer and chisel, as I did not want to add the oddly shaped pieces to the tank. These were washed with fresh tap water, bad? How essential is the live rock curing process? They were kept in a tank with a established cycle at Sam’s, not sure if this would count as a curing process?
5. Added water, however a stupid mistake was made here. I neglected to add RO water and totally forgot to aerate the water of chlorine before hand, so just normal tap water was added.
6. Added salt, the recommended dosage (Real Ocean)
7. Added bio cycle
8. Running for a week at 24C

Below is the gear that I have running in the tank so far.

1. Boyu TL-550
2. Boyu Wave Maker-1
3. All the mechanical filtration is the standard that comes with the Boyu, this includes protein skimmer, heater, submersible pump and UV filter. With regards to the filtration media, I have added extra sponge, (fine and coarse grade) to the second chamber as well as a bag of active carbon. So all in all, I have a large sponge under the protein skimmer then a series of fine and coarse sponge, ceramic hoops, active carbon and bio balls in the second and the third and fourth chambers contain my heaters, submersible pump and UV filer respectively.
4. The Boyu submersible pump has an output of 720L per hour, this will cycle my tank 5.6 times every hour, I have read online that guys recommend 10x your tank volume should be cycled every hour, how true is this?
5. The lighting in the tank is the standard that comes with the unit, not to sure about the specifications there, anyone?


I ran some tests today after the tank has been running for a week, these are my results.

* Salinity - 1.030
* PH - 8.0 - 8.5 (Can't really tell based on the colour chart)
* Calcium - 500mg - 520mg
* Ammonium - 0mg
* Alkalinity - 8dkh
* Nitrite - 0mg
* Nitrate - 0mg
* Phosphate - 0.1mg


What I would like out of the responses to this post would be;

1. Next steps to bring the above tests in range for keeping a Micro Reef setup, which will include invertebrates, coral and fish.
2. Other tests if any that still need to be performed to better aid people in assisting me.
3. Where I have gone wrong in the initial setup, and how I can correct these mistakes.
4. Have I added enough live rock? Or did the mistakes that I made with it render it useless?
5. Any questions put forward in the body above, answered.
6. Plus any helpful hints from experienced hobbyist for a new starter, namely going about water changes adjusting salinity and PH of the water before adding it to the tank etc.
7. Also when would I be ready to add livestock? I was thinking along the lines of a month from initial setup date if all the levels are correct.


P.S Attached are some pictures of the tank.


Aragonite.gif



BiologicalFiltration.gif




BoyuWM-1.gif




Lighting.gif




MechanicalFiltration01.gif




MechanicalFiltration02.gif




MechanicalFiltration03.gif




Tank.gif




Thank you in advance to everyone :D
 
Joined
28 Dec 2007
Posts
12,781
Reaction score
31
Location
JHB

What I would like out of the responses to this post would be;

1. Next steps to bring the above tests in range for keeping a Micro Reef setup, which will include invertebrates, coral and fish. - patience, the cycle will take at least 4 weeks and then you should only add CUC (clean up crew), another 4 weeks later start looking at fish
2. Other tests if any that still need to be performed to better aid people in assisting me. Watch NH4 and Nitrites, these will give you a good indication of the cycle starting and finishing
3. Where I have gone wrong in the initial setup, and how I can correct these mistakes. The noodles are not so good, rather put a DSB in that chamber
4. Have I added enough live rock? Or did the mistakes that I made with it render it useless? You have some great rock
5. Any questions put forward in the body above, answered.
6. Plus any helpful hints from experienced hobbyist for a new starter, namely going about water changes adjusting salinity and PH of the water before adding it to the tank etc. Your salinity I would suggest needs to be lower - 1.025, the best advice is patience, or it will cost you dearly.
7. Also when would I be ready to add livestock? I was thinking along the lines of a month from initial setup date if all the levels are correct. CUC, yes, fish no

5. Added water, however a stupid mistake was made here. I neglected to add RO water and totally forgot to aerate the water of chlorine before hand, so just normal tap water was added. Not the end of the world, but may cause an algae bloom, all WC from now on is RO + salt or NSW.

bad? How essential is the live rock curing process? They were kept in a tank with a established cycle at Sam’s, not sure if this would count as a curing process? Not a problem as you are going to cure the rock through the cycle. Once you see the NH4 levels rising you know the cycle has started, the bacteria will start kicking in and slowly the levels will come down, during this process you may see live starting to grow from the rock
You have a great looking setup and this is going be a belter when it grows up :D
 
Joined
22 Aug 2008
Posts
91
Reaction score
0
Location
Cape Town
Thanks for the fast reply warr7207 ;)

Just thought I would mention that the main rock in the tank is an artificial piece. The live rock is broken up and placed behind this piece, which compliments the shape of the piece as well as creating a natural cave affect. Does your great rock comment still stand after this post?
 
Joined
7 Jul 2008
Posts
1,063
Reaction score
1
Location
Slummies
Welcome to the forum rdeflorenca, hope you enjoy your stay: Ok, answers

1. Your salinity is very high, I would say around 1.025 should be your goal (you lower this over a period of a day or two by taking a bit of water out and adding RO water)
2. Rather take the sponges out as they trap detritis and become a nitrate bomb later on, rather use some filter floss and replace it every two days or so.
3. I've been told that those ammonia chips in the filter don't do much good.
4. P.S. Love your live rock, really looks cool. I think there is a balance between how much you need and how much you want in your tank that you have to find. Not sure how much you need though.
5. That's all the questions I can answer, hope you come right:)
 
Joined
22 Aug 2008
Posts
91
Reaction score
0
Location
Cape Town
No problem with the waiting game, just want to know more or less time lines and information so I can be prepared when it comes.

Really worried about water quality and weekly water cycles :( Is purchasing RO water the best way to go or could I look at using the Two Oceans Aquarium water, as I live really close to the Water Front in Cape Town? I have heard that I should stay clear of there water!?
 
Joined
28 Dec 2007
Posts
12,781
Reaction score
31
Location
JHB
Thanks for the fast reply warr7207 ;)

Just thought I would mention that the main rock in the tank is an artificial piece. The live rock is broken up and placed behind this piece, which compliments the shape of the piece as well as creating a natural cave affect. Does your great rock comment still stand after this post?
Yip it does, what you have done is exactly what your livestock needs, new fish can hide while they get used to their new home and have adequate sleeping quarters (major cause of stress for fish)

The LR you have added will seeded the biorock and will "become" alive ;)

Still going to be a beaut. Your scaping also allows for some very interesting mounting points for coral.
 
Joined
28 Dec 2007
Posts
12,781
Reaction score
31
Location
JHB
No problem with the waiting game, just want to know more or less time lines and information so I can be prepared when it comes.

Really worried about water quality and weekly water cycles :( Is purchasing RO water the best way to go or could I look at using the Two Oceans Aquarium water, as I live really close to the Water Front in Cape Town? I have heard that I should stay clear of there water!?
Not sure about 2 oceans, have heard it is not the greatest. The Capetonians can chip in here.

Your weekly water change needs to be 5-10% unless something has gone wrong.

With your smaller volume it might be beneficial buying RO or prepared salt water.

I wouldn't suggest WC's while you cycling
 

Al

Joined
23 May 2008
Posts
403
Reaction score
1
Location
Cape Town
Welcome to the forum.

I have the same tank as you, i have a thread in the Nano Tank section, My first Salt water tank.

You Salinity is vey high, ideal parameters must be between 1022 - 1026.
Live Rock is way to little, I have 13kg of Kenyan and Fiji Live Rock. You must rather get more. Get Seachem Stability, this helps the cycle.

Dont do water changes yet, let the tank cycle first. after my tank was cyled, i have been doing 10% water change weekly. Add live stock when all your water parameter's are the correct level.
 
Joined
4 Jun 2008
Posts
1,450
Reaction score
321
Location
Vaalpark, Vaaltriangle
No problem with the waiting game, just want to know more or less time lines and information so I can be prepared when it comes.

Really worried about water quality and weekly water cycles :( Is purchasing RO water the best way to go or could I look at using the Two Oceans Aquarium water, as I live really close to the Water Front in Cape Town? I have heard that I should stay clear of there water!?

Don't Realy Know about the Two Oceans Water! live in Gauteng! bit far from
Cape town! I prefer the RO Option! If you are thinking Of buying RO water
every time to do WC! Why not invest in A RO unit! Will Save You A lot in
the long Run! Cause you will Have your System for A long Time! Believe me!
Once Hooked You will Never Leave Your TANK!

Maybe Some of the Other Guys may Help You on the Two Oceans Story!

Good Luck!
 
Joined
22 Aug 2008
Posts
91
Reaction score
0
Location
Cape Town
Hehe, thanks!

Took me a while to find that Jem at Sam's (4 hours getting all the kit and my questions answered)

One last question before I close up for the night. Is the cycle of the lights in the tank supposed to be kept to a strickt 8 ours during the seeding process?

I might find it difficult to stick to this 8 hour rule when there are fish in the tank, as my work and extracurricular activites only allow me to be back home and able to turn of and on lights in a 12 hour cycle. Will this stress the fish?
 
Joined
28 Dec 2007
Posts
12,781
Reaction score
31
Location
JHB
Hehe, thanks!

Took me a while to find that Jem at Sam's (4 hours getting all the kit and my questions answered)

One last question before I close up for the night. Is the cycle of the lights in the tank supposed to be kept to a strickt 8 ours during the seeding process?

I might find it difficult to stick to this 8 hour rule when there are fish in the tank, as my work and extracurricular activites only allow me to be back home and able to turn of and on lights in a 12 hour cycle. Will this stress the fish?
Can you not run the lights on a timer plug, it will make your life way easier and keep your livestock happy, especially the photosynthetic creatures
 
Joined
22 Aug 2008
Posts
91
Reaction score
0
Location
Cape Town
Heya Al!

Thanks for the link to your post, will be trawling through the threads over the next few days while waiting for the tank to cycle :biggrin:
 
Joined
22 Aug 2008
Posts
91
Reaction score
0
Location
Cape Town
Mmmm, I definitely could do this, However in the Boyu tanks there are a set of LED night lights, how important are these if at all?

The reason I ask is if the timer goes off then the whole units power is off only one plug, but two switches :(

Could a normal electric timer be used for this purpose or would I have to look into buying something from my LFS?

I have been reading some threads as well, should I cycle with the lights off to prevent algae growth or do I want that in the initial stages?
 
Joined
28 Dec 2007
Posts
12,781
Reaction score
31
Location
JHB
I am sure there is a way of separating the lights and the pump electrical supplies.

You want the pumps to run 24/7.

The LEDS are for show, have no real benefit other than replicating moonlight.

If you had a large tank you maybe able to get certain creatures to spawn, if you run your moonlights on the lunar cycle. Bit to technical for most of us humble reefers.
 
Joined
22 Jan 2008
Posts
12,223
Reaction score
162
Location
Lilliehammer, Norway
welcome there:) looks like most of your questions have been answered (n ice one warr:)) but i would be careful with algae blooms now. Tap water is evil, do a post of my one thread evolution of a tank. the first pic is because tap water was put in.

perhaps you could run phophate remover while you are cycling, a good idea in my book and saved me lots of hassels in a short time:)

as to the bio rock...the more and better quality LR you have the better, especially in a small system. Having said that I have lots of bio rock in my and its well seeded and looking great, although given a choice i would go for LR:)

good luck with the start and dont stress about the cycle process is really good fun:)
 
Joined
22 Aug 2008
Posts
91
Reaction score
0
Location
Cape Town
Morning All!

Warr, there are two sets of plugs, one is for all my pumps etc, (I have used connector blocks and connected the two pin plugs to them then run flex from the connector blocks to one plug, quite a sweet setup if you don't want to void your warranties :)) and the other is for my lights. The lights/tank came with a single three pin plug that controls the whole top unit, LED and florescent tubes.

With Warr's previous comment in mind, it will be fine to run this on a timer as the LEDs are more for show and left to more advance setups?

One question that has not been answered yet, is how do I lower my salinity in my tank? I have tried removing about 5L of water and replacing it with RO, but this has had no effect.

Is this the correct meathod for lowering the levels or should I not worry about it till the tank has cycled, e.g another 5 weeks?
 
Joined
22 Aug 2008
Posts
91
Reaction score
0
Location
Cape Town
Another piece of information is, I am experiencing little evaporation in the tank. Think I lost less than 1L over the past week, so don't think this has caused the raised levels, might have been the heavy hand during the salt mixing process? :nono:
 
Joined
7 Jan 2008
Posts
1,416
Reaction score
5
Location
PTA
Welcome RDE

A DSB is a deep sand bed. You can use reggies playsand or aragonite.
It basically creates an anaerobic environment for bacteria that will then brake down your nitrates to nitrogen gas. The noodles only go up to the nitrate point in the cycle..
Check out some of the articles under filtration systems, they will give you more than enough info on how to set that up :thumbup:
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Similar threads


Top