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kbruin

First Timer - RSM

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kbruin

Hey All,

Well I made the plunge. I ordered an RSM and it comes on Monday! Exciting right? Actually, it's only sorta cool. It was actually supposed to show up last monday, but when the freight company dropped it off I had to refuse it due to damage. Anyways I'm back on track. I'm going to be documenting my tank on this thread and will be hoping it doesn't turn into the don't do what this guy did tread haha. On that note I do have three questions and if anyone could share some tips that would be appreciated.

 

-Picking out live rock for an RSM. How much should I get? What should I look for? What should I avoid?

-Water. Make it myself? Or buy salt water from Petco or a LFS

-Sand yes no maybe?

 

It might help if I tell you my goal or idea for the tank. I hope to get some basic fishies haven't decided what yet - probably yellow tang, clown, etc. I'd love to have little crabs, shrimp, snails and eventually anemones or the alike. I'm sure corals will be added with experience. I like bright florescent colorful things so thats what I will gravitate towards. So with that in mind what do you all suggest for a first timer? Tips for the first setup? Things to do first that will save time/money later?

 

I'm setting very simple goals for this tank. All I'm concerned with right now is getting the tank and putting in rock and water haha. Livestock can wait, I know the tank needs to cycle anyways so one foot in front of the other. Thanks team! I'll have some fun unpacking photos on Monday.

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Marine1
Hey All,

Well I made the plunge. I ordered an RSM and it comes on Monday! Exciting right? Actually, it's only sorta cool. It was actually supposed to show up last monday, but when the freight company dropped it off I had to refuse it due to damage. Anyways I'm back on track. I'm going to be documenting my tank on this thread and will be hoping it doesn't turn into the don't do what this guy did tread haha. On that note I do have three questions and if anyone could share some tips that would be appreciated.

 

-Picking out live rock for an RSM. How much should I get? What should I look for? What should I avoid?

-Water. Make it myself? Or buy salt water from Petco or a LFS

-Sand yes no maybe?

 

It might help if I tell you my goal or idea for the tank. I hope to get some basic fishies haven't decided what yet - probably yellow tang, clown, etc. I'd love to have little crabs, shrimp, snails and eventually anemones or the alike. I'm sure corals will be added with experience. I like bright florescent colorful things so thats what I will gravitate towards. So with that in mind what do you all suggest for a first timer? Tips for the first setup? Things to do first that will save time/money later?

 

I'm setting very simple goals for this tank. All I'm concerned with right now is getting the tank and putting in rock and water haha. Livestock can wait, I know the tank needs to cycle anyways so one foot in front of the other. Thanks team! I'll have some fun unpacking photos on Monday.

 

Congrats on the tank. I hear they are pretty decent. I just started a 29 biocube and have had a 55gal FOWLR for a few years. If I were you I would look at some of the sponsors' online stores to get an idea of what you would like. Also, Drs Foster & Smith website has a great selection and even a category of nano reef fish. Just a friendly suggestion: AVOID ANY and all TANGS. They need very large tanks for swimming room and they contract ich very easily.

 

Read, research, and ask tons of questions (preferably from people in this forum not lfs) http://www.nano-reef.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=107552 OR read this: http://www.aquarticles.com/articles/saltwa...First_Reef.html

 

Go very slowly (its painful to wait and be patient, but it will be easier on your wallet and livestock). Never cheap out on equipment because 9 times out of 10 you will want to upgrade in the future and will end up spending more money buying the inferior product first and then buying the better more expensive product anyway. We have all done it. :o Wait 2 months for your tank to cycle and water perameters to be normal (test kits) before adding any live critters/fish. Buy test kits for your tank - Ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, Ph, Kh, Phosphate, etc. Use your time waiting for the tank to search the web for things you want to do with your tank. Half the fun is looking and planning what you want to get.

 

Usually you should have between 1 to 2 pounds of live rock per gallon of water you have in your tank. (34 gallon tank = 34 to 68 lbs of live rock). The more rock the better for filtration - but keep in mind it decreases water volume for the size and number of fish rule.

 

If I were you I would invest in a RO/DI water filter to mix your own salt water. Here is an example: http://www.buckeyefieldsupply.com/showprod...167&Sub=166

Never use tap water. About mixing saltwater: http://saltaquarium.about.com/od/seasaltmi...Information.htm

If you are going to have coral I would also suggest getting REEF salt mix not just a saltwater mix it has more additives that are helpful for corals.

 

Sand is a personal preference. I like a sand bottom tank; I think it looks better. Having said that, the advantage of not having a sand bed is that the tank is easier to keep clean, but it also limits your nano fish selection. For example, there are some cool Goby fish that require sand.

Edited by Marine1

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kbruin

Thanks guys. Roger on the tangs. I wasn't set on um anyways. I think sand looks better too so I'll probably do that. Going slow won't be an issue I don't mind.

 

How should I pick out the rock? I know like get shapes that I like, but anything else I should consider?

 

Also Stevie, first off, great post about the RSM. Your thread is very helpful. I've read most of it. I'm sure I'll get a new skimmer at some point, a RO/DI, a korelia. Just maybe not all right away. For now I'll probably get the water at a store.

 

I need to make a step by step list for when the tank gets here. What to turn on what to do first and last etc. Is that somewhere in your thread Stevie?

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kveille
How should I pick out the rock? I know like get shapes that I like, but anything else I should consider?

 

Also Stevie, first off, great post about the RSM. Your thread is very helpful. I've read most of it. I'm sure I'll get a new skimmer at some point, a RO/DI, a korelia. Just maybe not all right away. For now I'll probably get the water at a store.

 

I need to make a step by step list for when the tank gets here. What to turn on what to do first and last etc. Is that somewhere in your thread Stevie?

 

I recently ordered 45 lbs of LR from liveaquaria.com for $119.99 and I was very happy with the shapes and size. It had a decent amount of coralline algae. The price is unbeatable. The only down side is that you don't get to pick the shapes, but they sent me good pieces.

 

I would look at getting a RO/DI as soon as possible or be sure to use RO water. I know it can be expensive, but the investment that you make up front will save you you in the long run. I recommend a RO system from The Filter Guys. I bought the OCEAN REEF + 1 FIVE STAGE 75 GPD RO/DI and I am very happy with it.

 

I also bought the Tunze skimmer and Stevie T's media rack and Tunze Cup. The cup from Stevie T is a must if you go with the Tunze and the media rack will help save you from the chamber of death. Take pictures and let us know how it is going. Good Luck!

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StevieT
I need to make a step by step list for when the tank gets here. What to turn on what to do first and last etc. Is that somewhere in your thread Stevie?

 

 

what do you mean by this?

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kbruin

Stevie,

What I meant by that was, once the tank gets here what order do I do things in. Put in the rock, water, sand. What to turn on lights, pumps, skimer. I'm gonna grab some book at my LFS so I have some handy references, thou I'll be posting questions and such here I'm sure. So basically I just kinda want to make a step by step check list.

 

1. Mix water and slowly pour into tank

2. Build your rock structure and place into tank

3. Pour sand into tank

4. Turn on pumps

5. Take tests every few days

 

I know thats probably not the right order of operations, but basically I'm imagining something like if I bought furniture from IKEA that is how you get it all together.

 

 

Also, how do I go about ordering the cup and media rack? I'm interested.

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StevieT

no, I would say you have the order correct. Water, leave room for the rock as it takes up space. Aquascape, then put the sand in to hold the rock down.

 

Turn on the pumps. Keep the skimmer off and any chemical media out until the cycle is over.

 

You don't need to start testing for a few days. You can run the lights on for a few hours during the cyle to get the algae stages going. Some leave them off, but I like them on for 4-6 hours during a cycle.

 

I will PM you details on the cup and rack, they work with the Tunze 9002 skimmer

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kbruin

Excellent, I've read a few threads about using Petco pre mixed water to cycle with. I'm thinking about going that way as I don't have all the supplies to mix my own water (I can get water and my RSM comes with salt, but I don't have any chemicals to adjust the pH or calcium). Anyone able to say thats a terrible idea or is that okay?

 

Also with regard to adding the sand once water and rock is in, how does that go down (figuratively, i know how gravity works)? Getting sand off the rocks? how to even it all out? I know to expect it to be cloudy and wait 24 hour or so but not having seen it been done before i'm confused how it will even work haha. I'm guessing while the sand is settling that I should not run the pumps? Turbulent water flow will make it take longer to settle?

 

i've ordered my liverock, hydrometer, seachem basic marine and reef test kits and of course stevies mods :) I'll be getting my hands on a korelia two, a 9002, and an RO/DI system soon, as well as buckets and the alike.

 

Any chemicals I should have on hand at this point? Liquid calcium, buffer, etc? other things that would be handy or necessary during the early life of the tank? filter media?

 

Thanks again everyone!

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kbruin

Hold a tick,

Okay so I know I said i ordered the live rock... well that was a half truth. I had the order window open behind n-r.com Soooo... I just went to check out and shipping is gonna be about 150-200 dollars. They (Premium Aquatics) suggest next day or 2 day. Are all sites gonna be this way. I'm ordering 40lb of their nano rock (I assume they choose the type as I wasn't given any options - fiji would be my preference). Any suggestions to cut the cost a bit? Thanks.

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StevieT

Info on mixing your own water

 

http://www.nano-reef.com/forums/index.php?...p;#entry1608458

 

A good two part solution will manage your calcium and alk. Do not trust the red sea test kits if you have them. Go with API (looks like you have test kits on the way) Never dose without testing, once you find your calcium depletion after stocking, you will know how many days go by until you have to dose. Remember water changes input calcium and other trace elements as well.

 

Your sand will spread around on it's own with the pumps but you can also use your hand. A turkey baster is the reefers best friend, use it to blast off your rocks. Yes, run the pumps during this period. Put filter floss under the intake grate to catch all that sand detitus. It will settle faster with the pumps on as you are collecting it all.

 

Look into a refractor instead of a hygrometer as they are inaccurate. Good one here:

 

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod...fm?pcatid=10490

 

Two part solution:

 

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod...cfm?pcatid=4737

 

Chemi Pure Elite: (after cycle)

 

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod...cfm?pcatid=4177

 

Purigen (after cycle), if you go with this buy it in the bag.

 

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod...cfm?pcatid=4190

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kveille
Hold a tick,

Okay so I know I said i ordered the live rock... well that was a half truth. I had the order window open behind n-r.com Soooo... I just went to check out and shipping is gonna be about 150-200 dollars. They (Premium Aquatics) suggest next day or 2 day. Are all sites gonna be this way. I'm ordering 40lb of their nano rock (I assume they choose the type as I wasn't given any options - fiji would be my preference). Any suggestions to cut the cost a bit? Thanks.

 

Does the $150-$200 include the LR and Shipping? You may want to think about getting rock that is a little larger. I was considering getting the nano LR from Live Aquaria, but it seemed to be for much smaller tanks than my RSM. Also, to compare prices on LR, I got 45lbs of Premium Select Fiji from Live Aquaria shipped overnight for $189 total. So if the $150-$200 is the total for your LR and Shipping I would say it is a good deal.

 

Here is a picture of 45lbs in my RSM:

IMG_6617.jpg

 

Another Picture with the rock spread out.

DSC03323-1.jpg

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kbruin

No that was the shipping price alone. The rock itself was another $170 yikes! Okay well I'll check out your site. Sadly, the shipping company failed to deliver during their time window and I had to go to class. Sigh, I guess I really DO have to be patient, thou I don't think this is what everyone meant haha. So to recap Yellow - broke it and Roadway - Never came. I've never dealt with a freight company before, do they just try again I know they aren't like Fedex or UPS. I guess I'll find out when I'm home.

 

Thanks for the links stevie. I'm going to go read about doseing, I'm not very confident on what that entails haha.

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StevieT

you take some of part A and put it in the cap, you dump that in to the water. Then you do the same amout of part B. Then you have a beer. It's pretty easy :D

 

Yellow broke it, let me get on my sales rep for that, she owes me some Packer tickets anyway. F- Roadway, oh wait they are the same company now :lol: Yellow bought them a few months ago but just made it public

Edited by StevieT

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kbruin

haha, well apparently roadway sent it on the wrong truck. Luckily!!! if i wake up at 6am and call them they might be able to get it to me tomorrow morning early. WOOHOO. Just what a college student needs... a reason to wake up early. I exaggerate i get up early because of my puppy lab, but that is still a gripeable offense.

 

Got my rock, 45lb box from D&R. I'll see what my amex can handle for the rest of the tools :)

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kbruin

Well I've spent my night beating my head against my laptop as I try and decide where to order the various things (mainly looked at DRF&S and Marine Depot). One site the test kits are cheeper, another the additives, another the hydor. Oh and then try to figure it out with minimizing shipping haha (especially since marine depot has free shipping at a certain point). I think I'll try and calculate again in the morning its midnight and I think things are starting to add up like 2+2=4345 so...

 

On a side note, substrate. Use the RSM starter kit one? Get arag-live sand?

 

Algae cleaner - Stevie I see you've used both the JBJ cleaning "wand" thing and a mag float. One better than the other? Both have their uses? Remember I'm trying to only buy things needed for the cycling to avoid a huge bill in one month.

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kveille
Well I've spent my night beating my head against my laptop as I try and decide where to order the various things (mainly looked at DRF&S and Marine Depot). One site the test kits are cheeper, another the additives, another the hydor. Oh and then try to figure it out with minimizing shipping haha (especially since marine depot has free shipping at a certain point). I think I'll try and calculate again in the morning its midnight and I think things are starting to add up like 2+2=4345 so...

 

Kbruin

 

I have ordered from both and both are great companies with great customer service. I ordered my RSM from Marine depot and it was cracked when it arrived and they took care of me. I believe Marine Depot will price match also. So if DFS has something cheaper let them know and they will probably match it. I do not believe DFS will price match.

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StevieT

no on the substrate from red sea. It is really ugly IMO. Sand only for me.

 

I would skip on the wand, I rarely use it for algae, more of a tool for misc uses. A razor blade will do wonders along with the magfloat.

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kbruin

Okay, it came. Well sorta I actually had to drive to commerce City to get it because their truck couldn't fit down my street. 9pm at a giant loading dock is creepy. Anyways I was up till midnight unpacking and setting up. I'll post pictures and my impressions later today. I actually just have a few questions about it before I start adding water and such.

 

The bottom of my tank is white. I was expecting back. I don't really care because I'm adding sand, but I'm just checking that I didn't forget to remove something. Basically under the bottom glass is a thin layer of what looks like sorta styrofoam lining. I have no idea how I'd get it out, but I just want to make sure thats normal.

 

The heater. I placed the suction cup on the back pane of glass. When I hook the heater into it, the heater touches the back pane of glass with the bottom tip of it. Should it be free floating? Or is it okay for it to rest against the glass.

 

Clean or not to clean. I wouldn't call the inside of the tank dirty by any means, but sure there are some particles around. Should I clean it or wash it out some how. I don't have a pump or syphon just yet that would make putting fresh water in and out easy. Also I don't have extra DI water to do it. It would have to be with tap water if I were to wash it.

 

Thanks. Pics coming soon.

Edited by kbruin

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mrnugget
Okay, it came. Well sorta I actually had to drive to commerce City to get it because their truck couldn't fit down my street. 9pm at a giant loading dock is creepy. Anyways I was up till midnight unpacking and setting up. I'll post pictures and my impressions later today. I actually just have a few questions about it before I start adding water and such.

 

The bottom of my tank is white. I was expecting back. I don't really care because I'm adding sand, but I'm just checking that I didn't forget to remove something. Basically under the bottom glass is a thin layer of what looks like sorta styrofoam lining. I have no idea how I'd get it out, but I just want to make sure thats normal.

 

The heater. I placed the suction cup on the back pane of glass. When I hook the heater into it, the heater touches the back pane of glass with the bottom tip of it. Should it be free floating? Or is it okay for it to rest against the glass.

 

Clean or not to clean. I wouldn't call the inside of the tank dirty by any means, but sure there are some particles around. Should I clean it or wash it out some how. I don't have a pump or syphon just yet that would make putting fresh water in and out easy. Also I don't have extra DI water to do it. It would have to be with tap water if I were to wash it.

 

Thanks. Pics coming soon.

 

I noticed the same stuff under the bottom glass. I assume it is either as cushion or insulation for the tank, since you can't get to it.... just leave it.

 

Regarding the heater, I went thru 2 Red Sea heaters in the first month, currently have a Stealth 150w heater in its place. While I don't think the RS heater touching the glass should be a problem, it can vibrate and rattle if it's touching the divider with the pumps. The Stealth is fully submersible, so I have that suctioned to the side wall under water.... since water level in the heater chamber can vary (depending on how 'clogged' your sponge/floss gets), I think part of my increased temp accuracy is due to the heater being fully submerged. Can't do that with the Red Sea one.

 

As far as cleaning the glass, for the inside I just wiped it with a clean soft cloth (was mostly styrofoam pieces) and the outside I used glass cleaner. Not sure what to recommend for the inside glass - rubbing alcohol? (since it would fully evaporate). Maybe someone else can comment. For my FW tank, I used ammonia to clean the inside glass, wiped it clean, let it dry/evaporate for a day or so..and then filled the tank. Whatever leftover ammonia (and there couldn't have been much) existed just jump-started the cycle. Not recommending it.....just my past experience.

 

mrn

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kbruin

Live rock came. Looks pretty cool. I need to clean it off thou. Also there was a lot of things running around when I looked at it. They seemed like ants haha. Should I avoid just dumping these pieces in? Any cleaning or other advice with the rock before I get going?

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StevieT

They are probably pods

 

 

Amphipods, Copepods, Good Isopods and Just Bugs: Pics in that order. HARMLESS

Now there are some 5,000 species so I will list the most common ones. These are all harmless, you will see them on the glass rocks and your hand if you leave it in there long enough, These are the most common species. Pictures in this order, Amphipods, Copepods, Isopods.

amphipod.jpgcopepod.jpgisopod.jpg

 

 

if so they can go in your tank.

 

I rinsed and scrubbed mine in fresh saltwater.

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kbruin

Okay, so I got my RSM set up and running. Live rock has been cleaned and scaped. Live sand is in and the tank is currently clearing. I got the Korelia in and I don't seem to have any leak or equipment problems.

 

I took some tests before I put in the sand.

 

pH - 8.0

Calcium -500

Phosphate - 2

KH - 12

S.G. - 1.024

 

Those are the only readings I have right now. I need to get a thermometer tomorrow and some distilled water to calibrate my refractor. So far, everything seems to be going as planned. What should I do with the Red Sea stuff I don't want like the sand and test kits. Keep them around? Go office space on them? Play mad scientist?

 

Now some pictures:

Look what Red Sea sent - Took um 3 weeks three attempts and one pickup

IMG_0802.jpg

Lots of parts

IMG_0804.jpg

Starter Kit

IMG_0809.jpg

OCD

IMG_0810.jpg

Stand Done - Also this was my original spot, but changed my mind

IMG_0813.jpg

Tank with water

IMG_0814.jpg

As if I didn't have enough to distract me while I work

IMG_0815.jpg

45lb of Live rock Thanks DrF&S!

IMG_0818.jpg

My squadron of water haulers - the tub is a piece and too big, but may be an ATO

IMG_0819.jpg

Great different sizes

IMG_0820.jpg

Close up

IMG_0823.jpg

One more

IMG_0824.jpg

What I wanted to design

IMG_0825.jpg

My puppy did most of the work

IMG_0826.jpg

What it actually looks like

IMG_0829.jpg

FULL TANK SHOT!!!

IMG_0830.jpg

View from my desk

IMG_0831.jpg

Side view

IMG_0832.jpg

FTS with some room

IMG_0833.jpg

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onefish2fish

looks nice.

 

seems as though you put the hookah in both pictures.

 

 

and where the f are your floors at man?

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mavjoy

Kbruin- nice set up and nice looking LR. I just set up my RSM too. Check out my thread. I like to free up the sides of the tank so I can clean and access it easier. I'll be following your tank's progress. Happy reefing!

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