first reef tank attempt

Discussion in 'Nano Tanks' started by Mikhaeel, 25 Dec 2014.

  1. Mikhaeel

    Mikhaeel

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    after much deliberation i decided to start a thread and start logging everything i do on my road to start my first saltwater tank. i might be a little late but I'm hoping i haven't made too many mistakes already and those that i have can be corrected in the forum before things go terribly wrong. So far I've been going on the advice of my LFS, a few friends and youtube. getting down to what everybody is here for my tank specs. my display tank is a 3ft marltons tank that i had drilled at my lfs. I'm planning on using a 2ft (20G) tank as my sump but i will try and get something bigger that fits under my stand. Hardware that I've got so far is just my return pump ( a AquaOne 2500lph) and my heater(ehiem jager 100w). Both of which i bought on the recommendation of the sales person.
    Other things that I've bought so far is 10kgs of dry rock and a bag of red sea reef pink aragonite. planning on setting it up for a 'wet run' by this weekend and pics will be soon to follow (cause whats a thread without pics :whistling: )
    i am on somewhat of a students budget so the major components such as the lights and skimmer are being put on hold till i can find one that suits my tank and my wallet. That pretty much brings me to my first question. What do you guys recommend? I've been told that pretty much minimum requirements will be something like the oddseay 39w quad fixture and a reef tech ts1 if any one has any advice for me please fell free to chip in, i mean thats why I'm here :biggrin:
     
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  3. weezle

    weezle

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    Hi Mikhaeel
    A 39w oddseay quad T5 unit is definitely going to be sufficient, what is the height if your tank?
    Also a ts1 is an ok skimmer to begin with.
    Try and buy one or two pieces of live rock to speed up the cycling process , you should also dose some
    Bacteria , stability works well.
    Remember to take your time wen stocking your new tank adding too much too quick is where most
    New reefers fail.
    Good luck with the tank bud
     
  4. hammers

    hammers

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    Slow is good, and you can never do enough research, especially when buying livestock.
    Buy decent test kits and test your water, it will save you from a lot f frustration down the line. It took me years to understand that true reefing is about water chemistry and not about how much money I spend on equipment for filtration. Looking forward to seeing your progress.
     
  5. Mikhaeel

    Mikhaeel Thread Starter

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    thanks guys i will try my best to keep this thread updated. taking it slow is the plan, probably looking at adding fish after about 2 months. That being said i am anxious to get it wet. from watching lots of BRSTV on youtube i realized how important water quality is. pics of the setup will follow as soon as i figure out how to upload them :whistling:
     
  6. reef addict

    reef addict

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    pictures
     
  7. Mikhaeel

    Mikhaeel Thread Starter

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    [​IMG]
    a mock set up of my tank and stand
    [​IMG]
    bleaching the dry rock, didn't want to take any chances since it came out of someones old aquarium
     
  8. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    I got a 3foot as my quarantine setup. Completely standalone system with TS1 Reeftek skimmer and used to have 2 Odesea 39W dual light units. Works very well. Replaced the 39W with a LED unit I picked up for a nice price in the for sale section.

    Only difference is that I got another 3foot as the sump.

    On 2 foot sump, after fitting the skimmer and its chamber, you will not have a lot of filtration space left over. I suggest looking into Seachem Matrix. Need 1L on your system. On my sons TL550 he got 1L of it in the 3rd chamber. And I'm actually quite impressed, he haven't picked up any excess algae growth for 6 months and I'm not maintaining the tank for him, his tank, his job. And he got no specialist algae eaters, 2 big Ocealaris clowns and 2 big sand sifting gobies.
     
    Last edited: 28 Dec 2014
  9. Mikhaeel

    Mikhaeel Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the advice, yea i realized the other day that i won't have much space for my dsb and live rock in the sump. i can't fit another 3ft tank underneath so I'm thinking that later on ill get a 80cm tank made and that should give me enough space. For the lighting i might prefer the quad purely because it has the led moon lights. I picked a great time to start this project though because now i have to wait for the suppliers to open up again. :( . with regards to the matrix though does your son just use it in a mesh bag on the bottom of the sump?
     
  10. Reaper

    Reaper

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    All I can add to the good advise already given is to never be afraid of asking a stupid question, because there's no such thing. Also, maybe start making a list of the fish you want, then read up about their compatibility with each other, their care levels, aggressiveness, and compatibility with corals if you plan to keep corals too.
     
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  11. TaahirS

    TaahirS MASA Contributor

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    Yep, always research then buy. Choosing fish and corals is one of the best parts of starting a tank IMO.
     
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  12. Mikhaeel

    Mikhaeel Thread Starter

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    [​IMG]
    tank in its final resting place. please excuse the photo quality i had to take it with my phones front camera since i can't upload pics lager than 1mb. i drew lines with a white board marker to show where the baffles would go still have no clue on the height of them though, I'm thinking 25cm off the bottom for the first one then 20cm for the second. the spacing is according to measurements i got for the ts1. if i can rotate it to fit the other way though then that should give me much more space to play with. @Reaper corals are pretty much my main focus :biggrin: fish will be secondary.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  13. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    First chamber looks too big. Only needs to be 170mm wide to fit a TS1.

    Return chamber from 150mm wide. That should leave a space of about 280 in the middle.
     
  14. Mikhaeel

    Mikhaeel Thread Starter

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    ok cool thanks so I'm going to go ahead and build it then. any idea on the height though?
     
  15. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    height, depends on your preference.

    I like deeper sumps, more water. Putting the skimmer on a stand of pipes and or eggcrate so that the outlet is just above water. I do not use those donuts sponges either. As the water do not fall far down to splash everything full of salt spray. Outlet is max 10mm above water level.
     
  16. Mikhaeel

    Mikhaeel Thread Starter

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    sorry for the long delay. haven't been getting much free time lately between work and setting up my tank but i hope this makes up for it. i was really happy with the way it turned out considering it was my first time doing any thing like this
    building the sump
    [​IMG]
    wet test and rinsing sand
    [​IMG]
    sump with dsb
    [​IMG]
    unfortunately no matter how much i crop the other photos of the scape and the plumbing it just can't seem to get under 1mb. its been cycling for a week now will do a full round of tests today and check back with the results
     
  17. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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  18. Mikhaeel

    Mikhaeel Thread Starter

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    tank is turning 1 month old tomorrow ! its starting to balance out now after an initial algae bloom. ammonia hovers around 0.05 (no protein skimmer yet)
    NO2: 0
    NO3 : 2
    dkh : 7 (usually at 9/10 don't know why it dropped)
    ph: 8.4 ( does dip to 8.2 sometimes)
    sg : 1.023
    i did do a water change in the third week when i had a nitrate spike, went up to 10, unfortunately the tank did cycle with some fish in it. thats what happens when you sit at home testing you tank and your family go to the rock pools with a net and cooler box :whistling: most of the fish have been returned with no signs of ich or illness except for one shoulder spot gobi, I'm thinking of keeping him. as far as coral iv started with some zoas and star polyps and they seem to be doing ok so far except for the fact that my green star polyps don't have that signature white spot in the centre of the polyp :/ i have no idea what that means but its been like that since day 1. added some seachem phosgurad and matrix carbon and that seemed to kill of a lot of the green slime algae that was giving me a headache. whilst buying the medias i ended up buying a , what was marketed as, turbo snail but after looking at some pics it looks more like a trochous snail. any way enough chat heres the pics
    the start of the tank
    [​IMG]
    the snail that needs id chowing down [​IMG]
    zoas
    [​IMG]
    green star polyps [​IMG]
    tank as of now [​IMG]
     
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