My first try at a marine tank

Discussion in 'Nano Tanks' started by Guardian, 22 Dec 2015.

  1. Guardian

    Guardian

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    Good evening folks. I've started with a Boyu Tl 550 as a beginner setup.

    It has a standard WG 428 Protein Skimmer with a 250 watt heater and 2 x Boyu 7 watt wave makers.

    I got some dry rock from a friend and purchased one live rock from a local lfs to start the cycling process.

    The tank has been up and running for a few days now. I have been reading threats on the forum and done some research which informed me not to be in a hurry by adding live stock. So I was thinking to wait for at least a month before adding any livestock.

    I'm planing on adding some soft corals and a firefish and a cleaner shrimp in the beginnings for a start.

    Feel free on giving some advice and gidelines.
     
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  3. Guardian

    Guardian Thread Starter

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    A photo of my tank

    image.jpeg
     
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  4. reefer101

    reefer101 Archangel

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    Nice...just take things slow...I like the scape
     
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  5. BrandonW

    BrandonW

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    Looking good. As Reefer101 says also take it slow don't be in a hurry, and you will have a better tank. Let the tank go through a full cycle. :)
     
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  6. DrewZA

    DrewZA

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    Throw in a piece of prawn to get the cycle going properly...
     
  7. Dexter

    Dexter

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    You can use something like stability to get you going faster. If i were you rather get a inexpensive small fish that you like as your first inmates. Firefish will do but leave the shrimp for a bit later. They are very temperamental to change. Your fish has a better survival rate than any cleanup crew.
     
  8. Apollo

    Apollo

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    Guardian,

    As other posters have already said .... take it slowly. Not only will this help to ensure that you build a stable sustaining biological filtration in the system, but it will also help you to learn more about your tank and the care required.
    My advice would be to research very thoroughly before adding any livestock to your tank. Ensure that you understand the care requirements and that you are able to fulfill these, before rushing out to buy that brilliantly coloured coral, beautiful fish or cool shrimp.

    With your Boyu TL550 you also have to recognise that you are working with a small water volume. Maintaining stability in such a small volume can be rather challenging, but it is not impossible to do. There are many reefers here that run very successful small systems, and they can indeed be immensely rewarding.

    Couple of pointers for you to consider and further evaluate:

    • Ensure that you have sufficient flow in the DT and through the filter compartments at the back. Detritus can build up very quickly in low flow areas, and this can lead to much unhappiness in terms of nuisance algae growth. The standard pump that comes with the TL550 is in my opinion too weak. You want to encourage turbulent flow in the DT. One way of accomplishing this is to add some additional flow pumps in the DT ( Look at Seio Prop 320/530). A very general guideline is to have at least 20 times water volume turnover in your tank ( Add all flow pumps and return pump ratings, then divide by total tank volume to get your approximate turnover rate).
    • Ensure that you are skimming efficiently . Not sure about the TL550's standard skimmer, but from my experience with the TL450's the standard skimmers are not great. If you are prepared to look at spending a bit more, a skimmer upgrade would be my advice.
    • Water changes : In a small volume tank, you need to be diligent about this. You've heard it and seen it on the forum before : Dilution is the solution to pollution !
    • Ensure that your scaping is done in such a way that there is good strong flow across and between all rocks. Poor flow in this regard will cause detritus to settle on or between rocks and will lead to nuisance algae issues.
    • Invest in some decent water test kits or at least get into the habit of testing your water at your LFS. Water chemistry is fascinating (At least for me) and you will learn a great deal if you research a bit more on how the interactions of different elements (e.g. Ca, Mg, Alkalinity) affect one another and the overall stability of the system. After all : We are keepers of water;)

    You are welcome to have a look at my old TL450 nano thread. It may give you some additional pointers to consider.

    Good luck, and keep following the forums and asking for as much advise as possible.:thumbup1:
     
  9. Guardian

    Guardian Thread Starter

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    Thank you for all the tips and advice.

    Apollo as for as I know is that the standard Protein Skimmer for the TL 450 and 550's is the Boyu WG 310 Protein Skimmer. I was lucky and got a WG 428 Protein Skimmer that is bigger from my local LFS at a very good price. I will closely monitor the skimmer and if is not good enough, I will consider in investing in a better one.

    I have checked on my return pump and it is pumping 1400 lph at this stage. I will upgrade it to a bigger return pump at a later stage as soon as I can get one that fits in the back chamber. I also have two 7 watt power heads to assist in the flow and is closely monitoring them to ensure that there is enough flow.
     
  10. superfrog

    superfrog

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    Welcome to the world of marine. Great start you have. I'll mirror the advice given above and say take it slow and do loads of research. Enjoy the journey!
     
  11. r0ckf1re

    r0ckf1re

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    Welcome, tank looks good. Some advice on how I started my tank. I started my tank for just over a month now. I used microblift special blend from day one as instructed on the packaging. It think it worked well. After a month my parameters were stable. I added my first pair of clowns, they their for a couple of days and look happy and healthy. I got zero diatoms now, tank looks clean now. I added a boxer shrimp on Sunday, so far so good.
     
    Last edited: 10 Feb 2016
  12. Guardian

    Guardian Thread Starter

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    Update on my tl550. My tank is now running for a full two months.

    I have replaced the hood with a led light with three different modes. One is with white leds only, then white, blue and red leds and then a combination of of all the leds together.

    I'm not to happy with the placement of the live rock and is planning to change it.

    I'm open for any advice and guidance.

    image.jpeg
     
  13. Apollo

    Apollo

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    Don't think there is anything wrong with your scaping. I like the nice "open" scaping which allows for good water flow around the rockwork.
    Scaping is very much a personal preference ( Google some rockscaping and you'll find 1000's of ideas) , as long as you observe the following :
    1. Ensure that there is good turbulent flow over, around and in between the rockwork
    2. Ensure that the rocks are naturally locked into place, so that even if you accidentally brush against them when doing maintenance , that they do not tumble
    3. Check to ensure that the rocks at the base are firmly on the substrate and that even if your fish/inverts start digging around in the substrate, that they do not dislodge the rocks.
    4. Leave enough room for you to work in the DT when doing maintenance, without having to repack your rocks because you knocked them over
    5. Depending on what corals you wish to keep, your rockwork structure should follow suit ( i.e. overhangs for NPS corals, ledges for SPS or softies etc.)

    Other than the above, it is really your personal preference. It is after all your setup ;)
     
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  14. Guardian

    Guardian Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the advice Apollo
     
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