First Marine Tank


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Hi guys,

So I have kept a 1.2m x 45cm x 45cm Cichlid tank for a while (2.5 years) now. I have a 90cm x 40cm x 45 cm sump (which I built myself) and cannot believe how well it is working ... I also keep a little community tank with some Tropicals (The wife said I couldn't feed the mollies I used to test the Cichlid tank to the new fish)

I have never kept a marine tank but have been reading this forum for a while. A couple of weeks ago I pulled the trigger and bought a TL-550 (which is already feeling small ... *sigh*).

GOAL:
  1. I want to keep a 2x Clowns and possibly one or two others (fire goby ... )that I will research first before adding.
  2. Some Soft Corals - Man there is a LOAD of research to still do here but I love the look of Hammers, Button Polyps, Green Star Popyps, Not sure if we call it Candy Cane etc etc... Actualkly there is not a lot of corals that I don't like.
CURRENT PROGRESS:
I started with the stock standard ceramic rings and 10 plastic bio balls got some salt water from my LFS and set the tank up with 6.8kg Argonite. I added some Special Blend MicrobeLift and that is it. I left this for about a week until I focused more and replaced the Ceramic Rings and Bioballs with the following:
  1. 1kg Seachem Matrix
  2. 500gm Seachem Purigen
  3. 500gm Seachem SeaGel
The back of my TL-550 is currently setup as follows - from the right:
  1. Course Black Sponge with Filter Floss underneath. ( I reduced the amount of black sponge simply to be able to take out the large waste which will be washed 3 times a week, but will change the filter floss once a week)
  2. Standard Skimmer.
  3. Heater and the above mentioned media (Matrix, Purigen and SeaGel all in Chemi bags)
  4. Return Pump with the UV thingy not plugged in.
This has been running like this for about 5 days now - adding MicrobeLift according to the instructions I have found on the web. I got the Red Sea Marine Care Multi Test Kit (as a starting kit which I will add to when I get corals), however I have not tested the water yet.

QUESTIONS:
I guess I should get to the point then:
  1. Should I be cycling my tank with the Live Rock in it already, or should I wait for water parameters of a certain standard before I add the LR?
  2. I have an extra Dophin C-1600 canister filter and was thinking of adding that to the TL-550 as well. Intake in the 1st compartment from the right and the return into the 4th compartment from the right. Would this be advisable or is it totally unnecessary?
  3. What do you clean the outside glass with?
  4. More to come I am sure...
Thank you for getting this far. I will certainly try to keep my posts shorter in the future.

Ciao
 
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Welcome to the Hobby.

To jump straight into your questions:

1 - yes live rock should be in the tank while cycling. as you use this period to build up bacteria
2 - extra water volume is always a good thing, especially with nanos. I would even look at modifying the canister filter to become a refugium or chaeto reactor (Youtube vids on this) but its not a must considering the bioload and species you are planning
3 - I use newspaper and windowlene to clean my glass, but never spray onto the glass. you can use alcohol wipes etc too. and glass clothes etc. NEVER spray onto the tank to prevent contamination

I would advise if anything would be replacing the standard skimmer with a tunze 9004 unit (although the std skimmer is a good start)

Are you using the standard PL tubes in the tl550 or modifying it to run LEDS?
 
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Thanks for the reply.

Are you using the standard PL tubes in the tl550 or modifying it to run LEDS?
It came with LEDs as standard - not sure how good they are but I will be monitoring closely in case they need an upgrade.
 
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