New system up and running

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Howzit. Just started my system on Sunday. +- 500ltr's including tank. Display about 375ltr's. I had about 10kg's of rock from my Malawi tank (which came from a marine tank), and bought 10kg's of live rock. Actually got 3 little corals that appeared a few hours after putting rocks in. Anyway, Im going to try and upload pics to show. Im needing to buy a few books on marine tanks, but here's what I understand for now. I got water from 2oceans, and Im not going to do any water changes for about a month, except putting a few littles of fresh water in daily due to evaporation. My tank needs to cycle, so Im leaving it as is for about a month. My skimmer is running and a turn the lights on for about 5 hours each evening. In about 3-4 weeks Im going to buy really expensive good live rock, +- 10 more kg's, and perhaps another 5kg's of average rock. When and what do I need to start testing for over the next few weeks. Ive tested the salinity and its good. Ive bought Nitrate and Nitrite testing kits, but havent tested anything yet. When should I start testing and whats the most NB? How soon can I add a few hemits, and what should I look for? Also, what shrimps can a get and when? Only after that will I look at getting fish, perhaps in 4 - 6weeks depending on how the tank settles. All advise will be helpful. What is that little coral and will it die dduring the cycle? all advise will be helpful!!
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I would swap the sump around to have the skimmer in the first chamber, then a DSB (lose the ceramic rings) with macro algae. Then the return chamber.
 
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hey dude
my sump almost looked like that worked very nice for 2 years then had some problems with nitrates, joined the forum and built new sump with dsb.
and now i have o nitrates and my corals love me for it( hope so):p

I'll recommend new sump
 

Mekaeel

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Welcome to MASA!
Ok work on the sump first.remove all those ceramic stuff from there and put your skimmer first in the camber where the pipe from the tank comes into the sump.second chamber,make that a DSB about 12-15cm of sugarfine sand eg. Aragonite or Playsand (from reggies).
the basic water parameters to test now is Salinity,Amonia,Nitrite and Nitrate over the next 4 weeks,keep us posted on that :)
do not add any livestock undle the tank has completley cycled.
oh yes,and remove the bioballs from you overflow
 
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Please explain why the bioballs must go. Will it reduce noice?
How essential is it to put the skimmer in the first compartment? What difference does it make? Explain further why and what I need to take out of the sump and and replace it with. thanks all. I was really hoping that the setup mission was over as it was a huge mission. Are all these changes essential?
 

Mike

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The bio balls interfear with the nitrate cycle in the live rock.

Remove the bio -balls and replace with around 6 inches of sand in the middle compartment for a deep sand bed, this will give beneficial de-nitrifying help to your system.
Then put thwe skimmer in the first compartment.
 
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i see that your power heads have that sponge effect that will catch all detritus etc. I would also suggest that you either remove it or clean it out very often as this could also increase your nitrates after time?now you wouldn't want that do you?:nono:
 

jacquesb

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A very warm welcome to MASA Brendan! Glad you started you thread! And thanks for it!

Just to re-iterate what was already said:
1) good to have skimmer in the 1st compartment, because it removes a LOT of dissolved organic matter, as well as particulate organic matter, in the "raw" tank water coming from the tank. This improves the skimming of the skimmer, as well as "cleans" the water out more/better....
2) The sponges will collect a LOT of detritus, which, if not removed often enough, WILL cause the water flowing through them to be released back into the tank, with very high nitrates (due to the de-nitrification process) - so, either ensure that you clean them VERY OFTEN, or chuck them...
3) the same thing happens with bio-balls, and ceramic "noodles" - works very well in fresh-water systems, BUT not in marines....
4) DSB = deep sand bed = sand bed of which the sand particles is between 0.05mm and 1mm in size, sand bed being 10cm to 15cm deep....
This allows for the FULL de-nitrification process to take place, including the reduction of nitrates to nitrogen and oxygen.... releasing NO nitrates into the tank water, and only nitrogen and oxygen bubbles being released from the DSB...
5) Ditto on the tests - ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, pH, salinity/SG levels.... Keep on testing these...
6) You can add hermit crabs/snails (part of the "cleanup crew") after about 6 weeks... the water and the cycling should have started to stabilize at least by then...
7) shrimps - only add them once you are 100% sure that you do NOT have any ammonia/nitrites and VERY low to NONE nitrates....
 
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Great start there, Just want to backup what Jacques has told you, some good advice there! :D
 

Ocean

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Great tank looks awsome glad to see you start
 
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Hey bud looking good. a nice new system. i'm running a sump setup close to yours. its a hassle to keep clean and free of detritus! and i agree with the rest of the guys... gonna upgrade my sump sooner or later. my nitrates sit at 40ppm and dont move. i guess its okay for just fish but everyone starts out like that and ends up with corals. trust me!

just remember. skimmer(mechanical) then DSB(biological) then carbon, phosphate remover (chemical) then BOBS YOUR UNCLE!!

welcome to an awesomely addictive hobby!:thumbup:
 
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And if i'm not mistaken there is filter floss under your return pump? i'd get rid of it A.S.A.P... its a detritus trap for nitrates!
 
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i think he placed it there to damp the noise of the pump
 
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well its still gonna get full of shit so i would take it out and lay down like a piece of rubber or something non-porous! hey?
 
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This set up has huge potential.; Sump and skimmer are perfect. Tank volume good. Copy all the above advise. Your first compartment has constipation with all the balls and sponge. Could have a wet floor soon

And WELCOME to MASA
 
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Thanks all. Im going to print this all out today and work on it this weekend. My floor was damp last night, must be the constipation!! I'll take all advise to heart, really appreciate it. Once I've done all the changes I'll post another pic for more comments. It's now 3 days old. On Wed evening I had to replace 2lts of water, and last night 4ltrs. Does that sound right? Big evaporation. Thanks again.
 
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