Gen 1:1 In the beginning

Discussion in 'New Members' started by Forbes, 17 Dec 2013.

  1. Forbes

    Forbes

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    Hi Guys, (Ladies included)
    I am an old Newbie, I say that because I started my first marine tank in 1982, a 2 foot tank with a charcoal filter hanging over the side of the tank. I built my own 1m tank and ran it for a couple of years and eventually shut it down about fifteen years ago. We had under gravel filters and protein skimmers and new lighting were being developed and becoming the norm.
    After that long a break, I feel a bit like Rip van Winkle (having been asleep for the last fifteen years) when I see how everything has moved on. I have now bought an RSM 250 which was up and running, and have bought some live rock, and going through the cycle.
    I have plenty to read and catch up on, while I decide on what I want to stock it with, but I am really looking forward to it. Even my wife is excited about this, and we are already planning for the next tank which will be mounted in the wall between our lounge and family room. I will be starting a post on that shortly to make sure we do it right with all your help and advice. Project 'Hole in the wall'

    I must add that this is an amazing website with an incredible amount of information being passed backwards and forwards and it is a privilege to be a part of it.
    Thank you
     
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  3. LCornelius

    LCornelius Moderator

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    Welcome to MASA Forbes, glad to have you onboard!

    Enjoy you old / new journey!
     
  4. butcherman

    butcherman Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Welcome to MASA. Enjoy the ride!
     
  5. Bendor

    Bendor

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  6. tekkengal

    tekkengal Moderator

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    masahello

    Awesome tank you have there! @Bendor and several other masa members have them. If you have any questions regarding the setup/workings of the tank feel free to ask :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  7. Forbes

    Forbes Thread Starter

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    Hope this works, this is what I have so far, I am very happy with the rock, but I may still change the configuration.

    20131217 (2).jpg
     
  8. mariusmeyer

    mariusmeyer

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    I really like the rockwork, decent amount of spots for corals and not too much rock.
     
  9. Forbes

    Forbes Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the comments, I need all the help and encouragement I can get.
     
  10. tekkengal

    tekkengal Moderator

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    Nice rock structures!
    Have you placed the rocks directly on the substrate?
     
  11. reef addict

    reef addict

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    Good luck bud.. welcome back into the game
     
  12. Forbes

    Forbes Thread Starter

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    Yes I have placed the rock directly on the substrate, so if it is not the best way of doing it, I will change it now. I did read in one of the other posts that guys have lifted the rock off the substrate for aeration I think.
    One of the things we did in bygone days was remove some of the top layer of sand and wash it to get rid of uneaten food etc., and then put it back in the tank, but I don't know what the latest methods are.
    Thanks for the welcome, I need all the luck I can get.
     
    Last edited: 18 Dec 2013
  13. Fred d

    Fred d

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    welcome to masa bud . did you start the cycle with a source of some sort like some ... shrimps or the like

    by the way , luck favours the brave
     
  14. tekkengal

    tekkengal Moderator

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    Not really a problem unless you plan on keeping fish (like gobies) that bury into the substrate. They could cause a rock slide. Just something to be mindful of. ;)

    In terms of cleaning the substrate, some stir it up, others siphon/vacuum it or have an invert (like a starfish) or fish (sandshifting goby) do the task. Personally I leave mine but that being said, I don't have the best looking substrate :blush:

    What fish are you planning on stocking?
     
  15. Forbes

    Forbes Thread Starter

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    The tank was up and running when I bought it, the guy I bought it from had just moved everything into a bigger tank, so all we did was relocate the tank, and I did a water change and added the live rock. The rock was a new shipment, so it will probably take a while to cycle. I have also used Microbe-Lift Special Blend. I have not added anything else.
    With regard to the rocks, the base rocks I have used are pretty stable so I don't think they will move.
    I would like to have a mixed balance in the tank, but have not decided what to stock. I am taking one step at a time and trying to keep it simple to start with, and stock with stuff that can put up with my mistakes.
    We are already planning a bigger tank, so I am using this a learning curve.
     
  16. mrbleeny

    mrbleeny

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    Welcome To MASA
     
  17. Forbes

    Forbes Thread Starter

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    In my ignorance, I have realized that the protein skimmer has not been working for the last three weeks, I thought it was because I was not feeding. I have now got it working, but would like to know if it would have caused and problems with the filtration.
    Also, while cleaning the tank yesterday and moving the live rock, I found two interesting beings. The first was a small crab about four or five millimeters in size and the second thing resembled a star fish, it was white, about 15mm across two legs, and the legs were not more than a millimeter diameter.
    I have tried to take a pic of the crab but it keeps to its hiding place in the rock. occasionally you may see his calipers moving as he tries to get food.
    I find it interesting to see how something as small as that can survive what it must have been through, including the problems of the cycle.
     
  18. tekkengal

    tekkengal Moderator

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    Take out the crab. The crab is most probably be a gorilla/xanthid crab (a pic of it will help with the id) that will end up eating fish and coral when it is a little bigger...

    As for the starfish, it could be a brittlestar (good clean up crew member) or asterina star (can become a pest and some varieties eat coral). A pic will help id which it is.

    How have you set up the skimmer? Have you adjusted the overflow gate as well (I see in your last pic it was all the way down)?
     
  19. Forbes

    Forbes Thread Starter

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    I will try and get some pics but they both move into holes in the rocks where you cant get to them. What is the best way to get access to them. The skimmer is as it was set up by the previous owner, all I did was adjust the 'air' valve until it started letting water in. How should I set the skimmer up?
     
  20. tekkengal

    tekkengal Moderator

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    Cool :)
    That skimmer is a process to get working but it works well once dialed in properly.
    The first bit is the gate that lets water into the back chambers: the lower it is, the more water will enter the back chambers and will cause the skimmer to skim wet (lots of water in the collection cup). Ideally, you will want more of a dry skim which will require the gate to be raised, you will want the "bump" on the movable gate to be at the surface of the water eg:
    [​IMG] (image from RC).
    (The yellow line will be the water surface).

    Don't push the gate up fully as you will block water flow to the back and cause the pumps to burn out. On the LHS of the tank you can see the water level indicator so you know how much water is in the back.

    After that is adjusted, you need to adjust the airflow into the skimmer. This is done using the tubing which sucks in the air and plugging it into the part where you adjusted the air intake (finicky little thing that is). Alternatively, @Bendor and @Tokalosh has stuck an adjustable valve onto the tube and has it sitting out at the back of the tank which makes it easier to manually adjust:
    [​IMG]

    Inside the skimmer cup is an adjustable screw thingy which you can raise or lower depending on the type of skim coming through (a wetter skim would have the neck high and a dryer skim would be lower). You are going to need to tweak the airflow and neck so that the bubbles just overflow. Your setup does not have any livestock (barring the little hitchikers that you found) so don't be too perturbed if the skimmer doesn't spit out foam ;)

    Also a useful site to check out the setup of the stock skimmer:
    http://www.reefsanctuary.com/forums/red-sea-max-owners-club/66778-rsm-250-stock-skimmer-tips.html

    Hope it helps! :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  21. Forbes

    Forbes Thread Starter

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    Thanks it helps a lot, I will give it a go and see what happens.
     
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