My “Slice of Life”

Discussion in 'New Members' started by ascheff, 12 Jun 2014.

  1. ascheff

    ascheff

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    My "Slice of Life" - A noob's introduction

    I'm not exactly brand new to the forum, as I've been using it for a lot of research here, but I figured it’s time to stop lurking around and make my first post!

    I'm getting back into the hobby after a 17 year hiatus. Admittedly, much has changed in the hobby, so I've had to do a lot of research over the past year and learn much from scratch. My previous setup was a mostly fish only tank, that included some damsels, clowns, a tang, a snowflake moray, a few hermit crabs, a shrimp, a feather duster worm, an anemone, swarms of bristle worms and big carpets of “beautiful” hair algae. There might have been other stuff, but my memory is a bit fuzzy on the specifics. In a nutshell, I have lots of experience of what not to do.

    The title of my post is a bit of a stretch, as there is no “Life” in the new setup.....yet. To be honest, there isn't even water yet :/

    Anyhow, here is the plan. After much chopping and changing my mind, I'm busy setting up a 600 x 600 x 500 cube with 35 liter sump, that I hope to eventually turn into a mixed reef tank. This weekend I plan on giving the stand a coat of Hammerite, do my leak tests and start setting up the plumbing.

    In the mean time I'm also collecting the equipment and supplies needed to fill the tank and get the cycle started.
     
    Last edited: 12 Jun 2014
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  3. Jason

    Jason

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    masahello

    Will be tagging along, when im upgrading im going the same size...
     
  4. ascheff

    ascheff Thread Starter

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    Equipment list

    Here is a list of the equipment I have or plan on getting. Any comments or suggestions are welcome.

    Display Tank: Rimless 600 x 600 x 500 cube with skinny coast to coast overflow (already have this)
    Sump: 35 liter with 4 compartments (already have this)
    Return pump: Eheim Compact+ 2000 (already have this)
    RO Unit: Aquaria-SA Standard Marine RO (about to order this)
    Lighting: Aquabeauty 70w OR Pharos 90w LED
    Skimmer: TUNZE DOC Skimmer 9004
    Flow: IM Spin Stream on return pump outlet AND Tunze Nanostream 6025 (waiting before I get the Tunze, want to see the reviews and price of the MaxSpect Riptide)
    Heater: Hydor Theo 200w

    and then at some later stage….

    ATO: Hydor Smart Level Control
     
    Last edited: 12 Jun 2014
  5. ascheff

    ascheff Thread Starter

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    Livestock wishlist

    I have compiled a list of critters I'd like to eventually have in the aquarium. My list is quite long so due to limited space not all will make the cut. I guess price, availability, compatibility and first come first served will determine who gets in. I'm not even 100% sure if all are available locally and the list is also bound to change as I go along. Where I have three similar, incompatible fish on the list (like the three firefish species), I'll only add one kind.

    If anything on my list sets off any alarm bells, or if anything has to be kept in pairs or groups, comment and suggestions are welcome.

    Corals are completely new to me, so I'll definitely have a lot of questions.

    Before I get any acrobatic fish, I'll add a screen or rim to the aquarium.

    Fish:
    Tanaka's Pygmy Wrasse
    White Banded Possum Wrasse
    Linespot Flasher Wrasse
    Six Line Wrasse
    Purple Firefish
    Firefish
    Helfrich Firefish
    Scissortail Dartfish
    Royal Gramma Basslet
    Blue Reef Chromis
    Banggai Cardinalfish
    Orange Stripe Prawn Goby
    Catalina Goby
    Hi Fin Red Banded Goby
    Yasha White Ray Shrimp Goby
    Blue Dot Jawfish
    Yellowhead Jawfish
    Orchid Dottyback
    Sunrise Dottyback
    Neon Dottyback
    Black & White Ocellaris Clownfish
    Midas Blenny
    Tail Spot Blenny
    Black Sailfin Blenny
    Bicolor Blenny

    Inverts:
    Assorted Clean Up Crew
    Porcelain Anemone Crab
    Blood Red Fire Shrimp
    Sexy Anemone Shrimp
    Sand Sifting Sea Star
    Bumble Bee Snail

    Coral:
    Torch
    Hammer
    Frogspawn
    Xenia
    Monti or plating Chalice
    Zoanthid
    Palythoa
     
  6. Gesiggie

    Gesiggie Challenge accepted

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    @ascheff
    Welcome back to the hobby
    The cube you have chosen is a nice size for starting (or restarting)
    Regarding your fishlist:
    I would avoid putting in a sandsifter seastar in a tank of that size. They hide most of the time, and you will not see it slowly starving to death, as it may not find sufficient food. (Definitely a no-no for any new tank especially!)
    You have chosen quite a few beautiful fish, but do make sure you look at their levels of aggression, and territorial issues. Some should be added last.
    You also opted for a few damsel species, just take note that chromis prefer to be kept in groups, although they do tend to kill each other off sometimes and you end up with one.
    Some wrasses prefer a deeper substrate bed, as it is their sleeping spot at night.
    And lastly, gobies are mostly sifters, so your substrate should be fine enough for them to sift.
    All the best with your setup, I am sure you will enjoy once the setup is up and running. :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  7. devesh.r

    devesh.r

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    Cubes are awesome, all the best on the tank.
     
  8. ShaunSwindon

    ShaunSwindon

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    Only advice I can give is take it slow and read up on everything you are putting into the tank.

    Also give your tank a few weeks break in between adding too much livestock at the same time. This could cause a shock to the system considering how many living creatures you want to introduce into such a small tank :whistling:
     
  9. ascheff

    ascheff Thread Starter

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    Thanks everyone, for the welcome and the advice. I definitely plan on taking things very slowly.

    Thanks for the livestock advice Gesiggie. I liked the Chromis mostly for it's colour, but if they need to kept in groups, I'll rather take it off my list, as it's already too long. Same for the Sand sifting Sea Star, I definitely don't want to keep anything that I won't be able to keep alive.
     
  10. ascheff

    ascheff Thread Starter

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    It starts....

    So, I finally managed to get water in the aquarium over the weekend, after getting my first lesson in being patient while making 185 litres of RO water.

    Anyway, this was after one day, still a bit cloudy, but not looking like milk anymore.

    [​IMG]

    This was today, day two, looking even clearer .

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 24 Jun 2014
  11. Jinx

    Jinx

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    Very nice and clean start
     
  12. Ebi Omer

    Ebi Omer

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    Looking good. Is that the aquabeauty light you went with?

    Do you wanna have ALL those fish or just a few of them?
     
  13. Bendor

    Bendor

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  14. ascheff

    ascheff Thread Starter

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    Yup, it's the 70w Aquabeauty.

    And nope, definitely NOT all those fish. That's just the list I'll pick a select few from. I did my homework on what I like and what might work in my setup, which will hopefully prevent me making any (too many?) impulse purchases when I see something nice at a LFS.

    I did however realise I don't have a lot of herbivores in the list, so I might have to relook at it.
     
  15. ascheff

    ascheff Thread Starter

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    This is just a quick update to say I haven't given up yet .. :)

    But seriously, not much has been happening. My aquarium is still cycling, a bit slower than I anticipated. I'm using the Red Sea Reef Mature Pro kit to get the water ready for aquarium life, and according to the instructions, I should have been ready to put in a clean up crew in the week and a first herbivorous fish this weekend, but my Ammonia and Nitrite spike happened later than the instructions said it would, and haven't gone away yet. I'm thinking it might be because I'm not using live rock, or possibly that I only added a skimmer a week into the program.

    Anyway, because of this I have decided to turn the program back a week and give it more time before I consider adding anything. I also haven't had any algae yet (not sure if I should be happy or worried), so I'm not even sure what the clean up crew will clean, so that's another reason to wait. I'll re-evaluate next weekend.

    In the mean time I've added some new hardware. I've added a Tunze 9004 skimmer, a Jebao WP25 flow pump and a 100w heater in addition to the 200w I already had, as I was struggling to keep the water at the correct temperature.

    Here are two pics of the aquarium today.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  16. ascheff

    ascheff Thread Starter

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    My aquarium has now had water in for 3 weeks and the cycle is still trudging along. This week, what I think are diatoms, started forming on the sand. Here is what it looks like:

    [​IMG]

    If this is actually something more sinister that I should be concerned about, please tell me. I vacuumed it on Friday when I did a water change, but it reappeared the next day, so for now I'll just let it be.

    I've been getting pretty tired of continually staring at the lifeless, colourless aquarium. Seeing as my water is still not ready for life, and I started with non-live base rock, I put in three empty shells and a small piece of rock covered in Corraline algae today, to seed the rock with some colour. My alkalinity has been quite high, so I thought I'd take advantage of that.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. ascheff

    ascheff Thread Starter

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    Please Help ID - Bacteria or Fungus?

    Moved to a separate thread in Beginner Discussions
     
    Last edited: 20 Jul 2014
  18. Dane G

    Dane G

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    GOOD LOOKING LINE UP!!:thumbup:
     
  19. ascheff

    ascheff Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the comments. I'll definitely rather steer clear of the bullies. Since making the list I've actually decided against the Bicolor, as I much rather want the Tail Spot Blenny. I'm hoping to make that my first fish.

    I'll be building a screen top for my tank, as quite a few of the fish I want are jumpers.
     
  20. Dane G

    Dane G

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    i have a bi color they are awesome fish im pretty sure he hit his head cause he is quiet the goof ball!

    from your list and tank being abut 200L+- i would go with

    Banggai
    Fire fish (Add at same time they can be aggressive to own kind)
    Gobies (Chilled fish)
    i llike Orange Diamond gobies they dont throw sand everywere and they can pair with shrimp( the yash and prawn gobie aswell) add at same time
    Fairy Wrasse active swimmers and lovely charactor
    Dotty backs are meanies so add last amazing color additions

    Maybe a dwarf angel. like a versutus(AMAZING saw one at perkies) or my fav arygi centropye

    I pref a tank full of coral and less but real showstopper fishn i am looking to upgrade soon as well to a tank of your size im over Nano's lol just remeber take your time and research each fish the internet is a wonderfull thing see their needs and buy from reputable pet shop (Like our sponsor here on MASA)
     
  21. ascheff

    ascheff Thread Starter

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    Time for an update, this time of more than just photos of an empty aquarium.

    Finally after 7 weeks I was happy enough with my water parameters to add a few things.

    As previously mentioned, I started only with base rock, so my display tank is still pretty colourless. I have however bought a few kilos of live rock and started a refugium. There's quite a bit of life on it already, but the idea is to add some nice looking macro algae (if I can find any) and turn it into a mini aquarium in it's own right. I've connected the light to a day/night sensor, so when my main lights that are programmable goes dark, the refugium light turn on. It's on for approximately 12 hours.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    I saw this guy peeking out of one of the rocks earlier. The photo isn't very clear, and he was gone again before I could take another. Hopefully he's not a fireworms, but looks like a common bristleworm to me.

    [​IMG]



    I got a little zoa colony with the live rock. It looked quite dull while in the bucket, but turned out to be a nice bright green with some purple under my lights, so I put it in my display. Two of the polyps got damaged during transport, and seem to be dead (front in the photo). I'm not sure if I should just leave it, to either heal or rot away on its own, or if I should cut away the dead polyps? The rest of the polyps all seem healthy, opening and closing normally.

    [​IMG]



    I also bought two Dwarf Yellow Tip Hermits, Clibanarius sp. I drip acclimated them for 3 1/2 hours before putting them in my display. They seem happy and moving around, and haven't stopped eating since. Well, except when the one got himself wedged in a rock for a while, but I've since removed him from the rock. I'll have to get some empty shells for them.

    Here they are before acclimating

    [​IMG]

    And here they are digging in the sand

    [​IMG]



    I also got a Fancy Striped Serpent Star, Ophiolepsis superba, I think. The salinity of the water he came in was ridiculously low, so I drip acclimated him for 16 hours. I didn't want to push it any longer as I was worried that the water quality will deteriorate too much. I hope he pulls through. He's been hiding in a rock all day, but seems to still be moving. The lights just went out, so I'm going to try an coax him out with a small piece of fish.

    Here he is before acclimating

    [​IMG]

    Here he is hiding in the rock

    [​IMG]



    I'll keep a close eye on my water parameters over the next few day, to see how the new additions affect it.
     
    Last edited: 11 Aug 2014
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