New Setup

Discussion in 'New Members' started by JAJA, 11 Jan 2010.

  1. JAJA

    JAJA

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    Hi everyone

    I have been keeping fresh water tanks for many years now with a keen interest in discus keeping. I live in CT in the southern suburbs.

    After reading up on all the info on the site I eventually got round to converting one of my existing tanks for marines. Tank dimensions are 1.6x0.56x0.6 high (used to fit into a cabinet in my office) and holds approx. 500litres.

    To start with I had the tank drilled 50mm and installed a corner overflow chamber with a 32mm durso pipe system which is working fine with no noise. The durso pipe slots loose into a socket in the base and can be swopped with larger diameter systems to accommodate various return pump flow rates.

    I completed initial the setup over the past weekend and the basic setup includes a 70litre refugium tank that I made using an old 0.9x0.3x0.3 tank. This houses a reeftek ts2 skimmer, 300w heater, live rock section and in sump return pump (4500L/HR).

    I am using my previous lighting system of 8 x T5 lights (2 blue, 2 red/pink, 4 white) for now. As the system progresses I will add MH and moonlight LED's.

    The tank has two SunSun 5000L/HR pumps with 30kg of bali live rock and 10kg of fiji. After landscaping I am going to need another 20kg of rock to complete the setup which I will add over the next week or two.

    I plan to let the tank cycle for 6-8 weeks before adding livestock.

    At this stage my questions are;

    1. Is there any preferred sequence to adding livestock such as snails, hermit crabs, shrimps, etc, first before fish?
    2. I am looking for a quiet return pump and wave pumps as I find my current equipment very noisy- any suggestions?

    Will add pics later.
    Alan
     
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  3. Annoying

    Annoying

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    Hey welcome to the forum!!! It sounds like you really did your recearch... The tank is a great size and your fast on your way to convert all your bathwater tanks to marine:thumbup:. There isn't actually a sequence to add the live stock but best would be to add the cleanup crew first and then the more peacefull fish up untill you have the most aggresive that you would like to put in the tank. A great starter invertabret cleanup crew is hermit crabs and turbo snails. Both do great jobs and are very forgiving for mistakes you may do. The cleanup crew can go into the tank while it's in the cycle while the fish only can come in after the cycle.
     
  4. chikaboo

    chikaboo

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    Welcome to MASA Alan - glad to see you asking before doing! There are lots of fellow reefers in your area - Enjoy your stay here with us - Firstly no prefered sequence to what we call the CUC - Clean Up Crew - and depending on budget - some nice pumps are Seio's, Resun, Vortex - but keep a look out in the forum's classifieds - sometimes there are real lucks here
     
  5. mnd123

    mnd123

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    Welcome Alan, sounds like you are off to a great start!
     
  6. flipwhip

    flipwhip

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    Welcome to MASA…...:thumbup:
     
  7. Jaak

    Jaak

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    Welcome to MASA!!
     
  8. riyadhessa

    riyadhessa

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    Welcome Mate...
     
  9. FransSny

    FransSny

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    Welcome JAJA

    Looks like yu have a lot of the bases covered. As for your return / wave pump question. I run a Reef Octo Waterblaster as return (can be plumbed internally or externally) as return & Tunze pumps as flow....both are very quite. You still have some time to decide
     
  10. clinton stanford

    clinton stanford

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    welcome to Masa JAJA:thumbup:
     
  11. Tony

    Tony

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    Welcome to MASA. You can also start adding bacteria like Prodibio, Seachem Stability and Brightwells Microbacter to speed up the cycle. Just tuirn your skimmer off for a few hours after adding the stuff
     
  12. martin

    martin Reef Adict

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    Welcome.
     
  13. JAJA

    JAJA Thread Starter

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    more questions

    Thanks for all the welcomes. Some more questions.

    Yesterday was day 5 of the cycling process and I checked the water and got the following results;

    PH:6.9
    Temp:28-29
    Ammonia: 0

    Is the low PH normal for this stage of the setup?
    I have the 300w heater on its lowest setting but with the heat we are having in CT the tank temp is staying in the above range which I assume is still ok for now?

    I recall when reading up on the set up process that I should start getting ammonia readings from day 3. My live rock was already cured so there has not been any noticible dying off which would affect ammonia. I am not getting any foam (wet or dry) in the skimmer.

    I have noticed some brown coloured growth (algae?) on some of the rocks. Is this anything to be concerned about?

    Not sure if I am just being over eager and asking these questions prematurely.
     
  14. crispin

    crispin

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    hello JAJA, i missed your fisrt post so welcome to MASA its great to hear that youve done some reading and know what to expect as the tank starts off.

    the fact that you started with cured LR and have little 'noticible' die off is great, but dont go with those readings, leave the tank to settle and cycle properly through a number of weeks. Its reallky in your tanks and your own best interest.

    Also i see you say you are a little short of LR and may want to add some more later. I would do that now if budget allows so that you cycle once and dont have to cycle again after the addition of more LR
     
  15. JAJA

    JAJA Thread Starter

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    Thanks Crispin

    It's tempting to jump the gun but I will be sticking to my original 8 week cycling period and adding more LR and CUC over the next week.

    Alan
     
  16. nick_fraser

    nick_fraser

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    Hi JAJA Not sure if other will agree but set ur heater to 26 as it should turn on and off depending on what the water temp is(shoild have a thermostat built in). the reason i would sugest having it set is that if there is a sudden drop in the air temp and ur water temp drops too quickly it could kill ur live stock.
     
  17. JAJA

    JAJA Thread Starter

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    I saw what looks like a mantis shrimp in the tank yesterday. Must have come in with the rock. It's white and about 2cm. Read that mantis will create havoc once I introduce fish.

    How do I get rid of it as it is fast and hides in the rock?
     
  18. brandonb

    brandonb

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    try and find the cave lives in...

    You see his beady eyes poking out to look for food

    ( have found 3 mantis shrimps in my dads 1.2 meter still struggling with the fourth the tank has only been running for -/+ 15 months)

    Here is what I have done in the past

    1) We tried catching it by holding some frozen food in front of his cave and when he darts out to get the food, catch him with a tong/tweezer, but this method doesnt work well, I once pulled off one of his claws and part of his body but a few weeks later he was back...so if you dont have his whole body changes are he will be back

    2) I have also taken the rock out of the water and squirted soda water (which is water and carbon dioxide) into the holes of the rock , they usually come out after a few minutes to catch a breath, thats when you should catch them with a tweezer/tong, or if that doesnt work soak the live rock in the soda water and hope he dies inside, shake the rock a bit maybe the mantis will fall out after it died.

    3) Have not had any experience with this method but you can also soak the rock in a iodine solution which will also kill the mantis


    Note that the bold options will kill most or all of the life on your live rock, (it will come back eventually) be sure to rinse the live rock properly (in old tank water, so preferably do it after a water change) before putting it back in the tank

    Also.. please be 110% sure the mantis is in that rock when you take it out of the tank

    For me I feel it would be cruel to kill a creature just for doing what its made to do, but after it kills all your nassarius snails and hermits and the damage start going to R 600,:nono: you realise that the bugger has to go.

    Good luck

    Brandon
     
  19. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    You can also just try putting the rock in a seperate container with very high salinity salt water (ie. salinity of up to 1.030). The critter should come out VERY quickly...... Then - just put the rock back into your tank.... you can re-use the water again, just dilute it that the salinity is down to the same as your tank.
     
  20. JAJA

    JAJA Thread Starter

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    picures after 3 weeks of cycling

    picures of my setup after 3 weeks of cycling
    35kg bali live rock as base with 15kg fiji live rock on top. quite a bit of growth happening
    sump has ts2 in 1st chamber (filter wool over inlet which is cleaned/replaced weekly), i have some carbon in the flow through to the 2nd chmaber housing the dsb (100mm layer sea sand), have added eggcrate for additional live rock, etc, then 3rd chmaber return to tank (pump = 4500l/hr). using an 18w energy saver over dsb with reflector(used old pool filter basket lined with foil).

    durso overflow is working well. I've notice that after evaporation of about 10litres the water level in the sump return chamber drops right down and requires the valve to be adjusted to compensate until topping up again.

    lights are 8 x t5 with 6 white and 2 blue. bulbs are old and will be replaced at end of cycling (another month).

    I am using tap water for now for top ups which is prepared with Prime and aerated for a few days before adding. Plan to add RO unit.

    ammonia was at 3.5 after 2 weeks and has started to drop now (currently about 2.0) using the sera test kit
    ph=8.5
    alk=12
    temp 27-28
    sg=1.025

    tank has 1 turbo snail (3 of 4 added died after first week), 2 hermits and about 10 periwinkel snails collected in false bay which are doing a good job of cleaning.

    My plan is to start with FOWLR and see how things progress before adding soft corals.

    unwanted at this stage are 2 aptasia and one mantis

    I'd appreciate any comments at this stage


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  21. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Tank is looking good so far, Jaja! One tiny piece of comment though - snails and shrimps do tend to die very easily when add to quickly/early in the cycling process. They cannot adapt to the changes in the water chemistry. So - best to add them only once your tank's water parameters has been stable for a while.

    Now - I know that I mention shrimps - that would be you ornamental / utilitarian shrimps (ie. boxer / coral banded shrimps, blood shrimps, cleaner shrimps, peppermint shrimps)....

    The mantis shrimp that you have - being a hitchhiker, are far more hardy and adaptable..... believe it or not. :)

    Other than that - you are really off to a very start. Good design on the sump - great skimmer...... Keep up the good work.

    Also good lighting there. What wattage of globes to you have in that unit?
     
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