New to forum and to the hobby

Discussion in 'New Members' started by AngusMac, 29 Apr 2010.

  1. AngusMac

    AngusMac

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    Evening all,

    I'm a South African living in London so I hope I can still join the discussions - my heater just has to work a little harder than yours...

    I am in the process of setting u my frst salt water tank.

    I have a Red Sea Max 250 (250l tank). I mixed the water, left to stand for 6 hours then added my substrate and live sand. I then added my live rock 48 hours later.

    The live rock was from my LFS and had been cured and in the shop for the best part of a month - getting it home and into the tank took abou 15 mins.

    Now, 1 week later (after adding the live rock), I have loads of brittle stars and little feather duster.

    I have measured my ammonia, nitrite and nitrate every 2 days - all are at 0....

    Has my cycle stated, middway, ended???

    What are your thoughts?
     
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  3. PeterL

    PeterL

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    Welcome to MASA.
    As with all the new guys on the forum there are a bunch of things we like to find out - what filter system do you have running, skimmer, what lighting do you have etc and do you have some pics??

    What type of reef are you planning to keep?
     
  4. AngusMac

    AngusMac Thread Starter

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    I'm on the learning curve and reading constantly so this may still chage, but the plan so far...

    I'm plannng on keeping a few corals (still to be selected) and a max of 5 fish (2 clows, a flame angel, a mandarin + 1 more).

    Following are the tank specs (cut from the Red Sea Max site):
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]MAX 250 filtration & circulation unit
    [/FONT]

    1. Accessory Kit (inlet/outlet ports)
    2. 1200 lph circulation pump with adjustable direction outlet
    3. Compartment for accessory pump
    4. Thermostat controlled heater
    5. Mechanical filter sponge
    6. Adjustable protein skimmer with a turbo aspiration pump
    7. Highly porous ceramic biological filter media
    8. Activated carbon chemical filter media
    9. Cartridge for fine (water polishing) filter material
    10. Sponge bubble trap
    11. 2400 lph circulation pump with adjustable direction outlet

    Complete lighting system

    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][​IMG] [/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]234W T5 linear (1 watt/ litre)
    [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][​IMG] [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]117W 10,000K/117W Actinic
    [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][​IMG] [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Electronic ballast
    [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][​IMG] [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]High polish textured aluminium reflector
    [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][​IMG] [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]8 Blue LED moonlights
    [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][​IMG] [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Fan-cooled hood for extended life of electronic components
    [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][​IMG] [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]High transparency, polished lens[/FONT]
     
  5. chikaboo

    chikaboo

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    Hey there AngusMac .... great to have you join MASA ... nice list of equipment you have there..... we are a bit of picture hogs here so pics will be nice .... Awesome to see your parameters are the way they are ... Your "cycling" has had a bit of a "kickstart" coz you had your liverock curing at the pet shop so I would still play it safe and wait maybe a week or two more ... just to be safe ... ... Bristtle stars and feather duster worms are all good signs and you also had the benefit of Live sand so it sounds ok just be a little patient ... Remember only bad things happen quickly in marines ... Enjoy another week or so looking out pods and bristtle worms and all kinds of "goggas" crawling around in the sand ... Then you can start lightly stocking with maybe a cleanup crew (CUC) hermit crabs and a turbo snail or two.... Marines are a journey ... enjoy the ride....
     
  6. Annoying

    Annoying

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    Hey and welcome to MASA!

    An impresive list of mechanics!! Just a few things I would like to ask. The corals that you want to keep, ar they mainly softies and lps? The reason I'm asking is I think there is to little flow for a few types of corals like sps and stuff... Any ideas of what you are planning to keep coral wise?
     
  7. AngusMac

    AngusMac Thread Starter

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    I'll try upload a few images...
    [​IMG]
    The Red Sea Max 250 - all in one reef system.

    [​IMG]
    My live rock - 1 week in

    [​IMG]
    One of the many hitchhikers - a brittle star (I think)

    [​IMG]
    My feather duster - out after 12 hours!
     
    Last edited: 29 Apr 2010
  8. AngusMac

    AngusMac Thread Starter

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    Not sure yet about which corals to go for, I'm just starting to do my research. This tank is supposed to be able to handle most anything.

    You think there is too little flow? The pumps are full on - 1200 and 2400 lph - one on each side of the tank. It's tough to keep my sand on the ground a it is...
     
  9. Dane

    Dane

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    Welcome to the forum!

    Great setup you've got there and nice scaping! Seems like you've done everything textbook so far! Well done!
    Just to check - did you use RO water for the mix? And for future top-ups? And you should be aware that you can only add the mandarin in the distint future once your colonies of pods has built up in your tank. Unless its trained to eat other food.
    I dont have experience with stonies so I cant comment on your flow, but why not stick to softies and LPS just for the start? That way you can get comfortable juggling tank maintainence. By the time you have that down your tank should be "maturing" nicely. This is the stage when its starting to balance out and its not so sensitive anymore. Perfect time to start thinking about trying the more difficult SPS corals.

    Please be aware that you should clean your sponge filters very often (when you've got more livestock in your tank that is). They're great for catching detritus, but when this builds up they act as "nitrate traps".

    D
     
  10. AngusMac

    AngusMac Thread Starter

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    All RO water and topping up with RO water as well (I have a 50l container in the cabinet under the tank with salt water ready for the water chanes and a 25l container with RO water linked to an auto top up).

    I'll tke you advise on the coral and go for softies and LPS. Are these to be added before or after my first fish? I've heard onflicting opinions on this...

    My Mandarin will be added after my 6 month anniversary (assuming all is good).

    So far I'm trying to follow the text book as closely as possible although with no noticable cycle, it's trown me a bit...
     
  11. Dane

    Dane

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    Hey angus,

    I would start with the softies, most of them are absolutely bulletproof. Zoanthids, buttons and mushrooms are all pretty hard to go wrong with! :) but that doesnt detract from their beauty! You can add these before the fish while your tank is in the final stages of its cycle. (Zoanthids would probably survive unharmed if chucked in right at the start!) It shouldn't impact too much. Wait until you've got a few fish and you think your tank is maturing before moving onto LPS, they are a fair bit more sensitive than the softies. But still not tricky by any means.

    I would definitely avoid planning a date on which to get your mandarin. 6 months is a completely arbitrary milestone and means nothing to your tank and its inhabitants. Although its probably far enough in the future for your tank to be stabilising and to build up a decent pod population, you just don't know. I have heard of people that have had tanks for ages but just don't seem to have many pods... Make it a judgement call, it might be wiser to say 6 months is your minimum waiting period (although I think maybe this is what you already have in mind)

    Does your red sea tank come with a sump or is the filtration all 'cartridge style' on the back? If you want to keep senstive livestock like SPS corals and a mandarin then you might want to consider adding a sump with a DSB, macro algae and a refugium. Even if you don't want to go into all that a simple refugium with chaeotomorhpa (or other macroalgae) might be a good idea to help pump up pod populations?

    I can understand your confusion with no cycling apparent! But if the live rock was well cured, then there is no food source for the bacteria to feed upon and grow. A cycle occurs when all the live stuff starts dying and feeds the bacteria populations. Very well cured live rock doesnt have a lot of die off, so nutrient and consequent bacterial blooms.

    IMO if you want to preserve the life on your rock best, i would try and slowly add nutrients to the tank, building up larger a bacterial population. To get the bacterial populations to start growing you need to "feed" the tank. I would add small pieces of frozen prawn, increasing the amount over a period of time. This gives the bacteria time to grow and catch up with the amount of nutrients in the tank, rather than the typical bursts of nutrients you see. Bear in mind that bacteria can replicate incredibly quickly, so you don't need to do this all thaat slowly :) I'm probably over-emphasizing the go-slow, but you don't want to overdo it. Still, patience and diligence will be your two greatest friends in this hobby :)

    Sounds like your attitude is dead right tho! I will definitely follow this thread, i think its going to be a winner :)
     
  12. Dane

    Dane

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    PS: its quite late on this side of the equator, you'll get plenty more responses come morning! ;-)
     
  13. Singularity

    Singularity Hmmm amper!

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    masahello
     
  14. flipwhip

    flipwhip

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    Welcome to MASA…... :thumbup:
     
  15. Anemone

    Anemone

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    I'm from the US and they let me in! LOL Glad to have you join us! You will find that there is a great bunch of people here with a lot of knowledge!

    Welcome to MASA!
     
  16. Mekaeel

    Mekaeel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Welcome to MASA! Great to have you on board :)
     
  17. robertkukla

    robertkukla

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    Welcome to MASA !!!
     
  18. Boegie

    Boegie

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    Welcome
     
  19. Phyrannus

    Phyrannus

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    Welcome

    Welcome mate:1:
     
  20. AngusMac

    AngusMac Thread Starter

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    Thanks all, it's great to have a community like this. The more I read the more I realise I need to learn!

    I will be reading through the threads in the forum and posting a bunch of my own over the coming months.
     
  21. Anemone

    Anemone

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    The learning part may never change. Things are constantly improving in the hobby and my addiction keeps getting worse. I'm always trying to learn more about something. There are also many unknowns in this hobby.
     
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