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kbruin

First Timer - RSM

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kbruin

Update:

Okay, So I had to wait a few days for my schedule to slow down, but the CUC is in. Here's the list.

 

1x Emerald Crab

1x Sally Light Foot Crab

5x Blue Hermit

5x Red Hermit

5x Scarlet Hermit

1x Peppermint Shrimp

5x Cerith Snail

5x Onyx Nassarius Snail

5x Nassarius Snail (The sight said just Nassarius so I was expecting white... they are surprising onyx color - so I may just have 10 of these which is midly annoying, but whatever)

5x Astraea Snail

5x Margarita Snail

 

Total: 25 Snails, 17 Crabs, 1 Shrimp

 

I think I'll add 1 or two more shrimp and maybe another cool crab. I'm in love with this emerald crab of mine. He's doing all the word. My sally is hanging under a rock and hasn't really done anything. We'll see what he does at night.

 

Some snails keep moving to the top of the tank. I don't really care, but should I knock them down and keep them working on the algae?

 

I'm also quite happy with the mods I got from StevieT. I installed them yesterday once my tunzie came in. Its nice having a bit more room as the Tunzie is smaller than the stock and it is a great deal quieter. The media rack is very helpful as well. I was so surprised the effect purigen and chemipure elite have. The water looks great less than a day after adding. It is crystal clear and has that blue ocean look now.

 

Picture Time - Also take a look at the last one its cool

 

What the tank looked like at the time of the first CUC drop

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Added first set of CUC 5x Nassarius and 5 Margarita

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A day later when I added second set of CUC

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Second CUC

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Hermits

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Emerald Crab

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Stevie's Mods

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Is this some sorta of fan worm hitchhiking on my hermit? There is another hermit with a similar thing, but doesn't seem to have the mouth and fan like thing that pops out

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I'll be updating as the CUC does its work

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kbruin

Also i've been researching fish. Here are three I'm considering.

 

Yellowtail Damselfish

Ocellaris clownfish

Flame Angelfish

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StevieT

wow, you have quite a diatom bloom going on there. I hope that clears up soon for you.

 

I would watch out with the damsel, the clown is in the same family, they will both be pretty aggressive. Flame angels are hit and miss, if you understand the risk go for it, they look great, but you may get one that nips at corals, you may not. I was ok with my coral beauty.

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kbruin

Update:

Sally Lightfoot - Dead

Peppermint Shrimp - Probably Dead

 

The sally didn't look good from the start. Didn't eat or move once I got him into the tank. Just stuck to the bottom of a rock.

 

The shrimp was staying hidden initially, but I saw him cleaning and eating some early on. Now there is no sight of him. I attempted to move some rocks and see if I could find him dead somewhere. I couldn't. So he might pop up at some point. I'll give him a week before I call off the search and notify LiveAquaria.

 

I did some tank maintenance today. Switched out the stock heater with the 55g stealth. I calibrated it in my salt bucket to 79 degrees. Right now my tank is really hot 83, but I've had my hands in it for a long time trying to reaquascape after my shrimp hunt. It didn't go back as I had it before, but now I've created a cool cave feature in the middle. I'll get a picture up when all the bubbles clear. Also the bottom covers to my power heads were loose and i had to take the tank apart to get to them and secure the bottoms. Now the flow from them is much better.

 

I also did the first water change. I was going to do it yesterday, but ran out of time. I'll be doing some water tests tomorrow afternoon once everything has settled.

 

The emerald crab continues to be the most active. I'll be sad if he dies as he's already my favorite, even if he is a pig and eats with both claws. How long should the CUC take to clean up usually? I feel like its gonna take them a while to get a handle on this algae. I want it clean already so I can get some fishies!

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kbruin

I spotted the shrimp dead in the back behind a rock, but i can't get to him. Sad times.

 

I decided to take a full battery of tests and I think I know what's up. My nitrates spiked. They are around 80ppm. I'm gonna have to go do another water change. Which is ######ty as I did one yesterday. I'm also gonna replace my floss daily. There is a lot of crap coming off with the addition of the CUC. The ammonia, nitrite, and phosphates are all fine (phosphate and nitrite were at .5). pH was at 8.2 and the S.G. is at a great 1.025. I had to take out some salt water and add RO to do this. Some how it was creeping back up to 1.027.

 

I also found a dead scarlet. :( things are not well on the home front.

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kbruin

Huzzah!

 

I just spotted a LIVE peppermint shrimp. He's hiding in the same place I originally placed him (even thou I uncovered this place yesterday and he wasn't there. He's being very reclusive, but I did see his tentacles. He must be going to town on the underside of the rocks.

 

I think I may have jumped the gun a bit early on the CUC. Hopefully I can control the nitrates long enough for the bacteria to kick in. I just hope to much livestock doesn't bite the dust in the mean time.

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kbruin

Changed out about 9-10 gallons of water this evening. I really do suck at pouring from a full 5-gallon bucket haha. The nitrates are back to around 20, which I like. I'll be checking it daily and changing water as needed. Otherwise the water parameters are pretty decent, my S.G. is right on at 1.025 after all the water changes. Here's how the tank looks at the moment. Lots of the algae has been eaten or broken away and is in the floss. I hope all these changes isn't stressing out my animals too badly.

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kbruin

It's been a while since I've updated. My tank is having its 6 week anniversary today and I wanted to post what's been going on.

 

I've posted on some other threads about my livestock. I know the tang police want to take me down for a battery of crimes, but for now things are working. So while you might not agree with my stocking choices, I'm keeping a very close watch and if a problem shows up, I'll take care of it. Right now I have in my tank.

 

1 Yellow Tang

1 Blue Hippo Tang

1 Yellowtail Damsel

1 Dwarf Flame Angel

1 Rock Blenny

 

Both the tangs are small. As they grow I'll place them into another tank or give them away. So far there has been zero aggression on any fishes part.

 

I had a clownfish, but I lost him in the first two days. Presumably to brook. Other than that there was some initial stress to the fish. I got them over a weeks period of time at LFS. The yellow tang developed a bacteria infection near one eye, but that has cleared up with some melafix. They have all been very active and eat just fine. There isn't a huge feeding frenzy when i add flakes or anything, but I figure they'll figure it out in time. The better news is that I've tuned my temp and levels in just as they should. I took tests today and all levels were normal. My temp swing is about 80-82. Rarely gets to 80, usually stays around 81. My skimmer is doing wonderfully (thou its off due to the melafix).

 

I have lost both of my shrimp too. My cleaner shrimp didn't seem to get along with the fish. He didn't clean any of them and had his feelers trimmed by the tang. I found him decapitated in the arms of my sally (My sally crab has two strikes against him, he was also eating my clownfish - if they clown wasn't sick I would have tossed the crab, but I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt). Also can't find my peppermint shrimp once again. I'm not confident in his chances. Maybe I have a mantis or something fun like that.

 

There has been some dieoff of some snails and hermits (judging by the empty shells), but nothing dramatic.

 

The rocks are starting to get that great purple and pink coraline algae going. I have some nuisance algae and I'm treating the water with marine algaefix.

 

Here are some fish pics:

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My game plan for the weekend is to do a major renovation tomorrow. I'm done with the melafix so, I'm going to do a water change and while I'm doing that I want to change the aquascape and add some more sand. The rocks are too close to the walls and I can't keep the sand clean.

 

Once the rescape is complete I'm trying to get in some starter corals in the next week. I'm on break from college now and have a lot of time to commit to the tank.

 

JK on peppermint shrimp. I just saw him. Apparently he responds when I report him missing on N-R

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kbruin
after christmas im geting 1 RSM so ill eb watchign the poasts on this 1

 

one word of caution about the RSM. Obviously its expensive probably 700 for tank and stand. Add in LR, LS, and then parts like the tunzie, test kits, refracto, korelia its gonna end up being a lot. And when it comes down to it you might be able to spend a similar amount and get a 50-75g tank depending on where you shop. So if your really in it for the nano reef aspect, a smaller tank like a JBJ might be a better bet and cheeper. If you dont are about the "nano" the RSM might not be the best bet for your money.

 

That said I love my RSM. It's great and I like the bigger size than other nanos, it's just not cheep

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kbruin

Okay so I started at about 11:30. Went to Northridge (about 30 min from me) and picked up a number of coral frags from a LFS. A few frogspawn, a great big pink softie, a handful of zoa frags, some a mushroom or two. The prices were good some were $5 up to the pink guy which was $25.

 

When I got home I drained the water for a change and then took out all of my rock. I had been wanting to get rid of some of the small rock that were just in there, and also rearrange the scape. This process kicked up a lot of debris so it took a while for the dust to settle and to being placing the rock again. After I got the rock back it was time to deal with the coral.

 

Floated all the bags and then let them all just hang out at the bottom of the tank as I placed them one by one. I'm new to this process so it took a while, and they don't all took great, but they are on the rock. I may have to wait for the coraline algae to get over some of the putty for it to look really good. The only one I really had trouble with was a mushroom that was not on a rock. It was curled up and no glue or putty would stick to it. I tried to find a place without much flow so it could grab on. I couldn't find anywhere and I think it has flow into a crevise in my rock. Wonder if I'll see it again....

 

The fish seem happier with the new setup. They are all exploring and checking out their new digs. The scape and tank looks totally different from my past pics... so without any further waiting here it is.

 

Excuse the microbubbles, the skimmer has been off for a week and needs to readjust.

 

IMG_1017.jpg

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coralcor
one word of caution about the RSM. Obviously its expensive probably 700 for tank and stand. Add in LR, LS, and then parts like the tunzie, test kits, refracto, korelia its gonna end up being a lot. And when it comes down to it you might be able to spend a similar amount and get a 50-75g tank depending on where you shop. So if your really in it for the nano reef aspect, a smaller tank like a JBJ might be a better bet and cheeper. If you dont are about the "nano" the RSM might not be the best bet for your money.

 

That said I love my RSM. It's great and I like the bigger size than other nanos, it's just not cheep

tell ya the trueth i just changed my mind yesterday im gona get the biocube 29 cuz i can get it cycling for less than the rsm ya no

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StevieT

What is that pink coral?

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kbruin
What is that pink coral?

 

no idea. It's pretty cool thou. It's a softie of some sort

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kbruin

Tragedy. My flame Angel died! Well I actually think it was MURDER! My sally was eating him when I got back from the movies. He's been healthy, eating, swimming. There is no reason for his death other than my crab being a predator. If you remember he's also been spotted eating my clownfish and my cleaner shrimp.

 

Well the jury convicted him this evening and he was executed by lethal toilet. Good riddens! He was actually easier to catch than I thought. I saw him on the back of a rock, picked it up and scooped him. I'm very upset and it makes me rethink previous assumptions I had about my clown and cleaner.

 

What do you all think? Is it possible that my clown died to the crab and not an illness (he was ill, but might have gotten better if not for the sally) and maybe my shrimp was being harassed by the crab? Would it be a bad idea to try and introduce a clown and see if he lives? The theory was that brook might still be present. Would it hurt anything to try? 12 bucks for a clown isn't a big deal for me.

 

 

ALSO. I'm having issues getting rid of microbubbles. They are still around even after 24 hours. My skimmers been off, but this is redic! I think its ####### everyone in the tank off. I keep tappering back the airflow to see if that will help but it is not. It's def the skimmer thou. When i turn it off they go away. There is no slime on the water's surface right now. Maybe I should leave it off for a bit? Some opinions would be nice. I did just change the aquascape and added corals so some new things have been going on in the tank. Maybe the kick up of dirt is causing it?

Edited by kbruin

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StevieT

If you did have brook you can not add another clown for 4-6 months. Don't even try it, the clown will catch it and die. With the tangs be very careful in adding any fish, your bioload is well over max and it can cause serious chemical imballances.

 

I woudn't just add a fish to see if it lives or dies.

 

Does your skimmer have a leak in the body? Is everything in place, hoses pumps etc?

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kbruin

Yah, I decided if I did get a clown I'd want to do it with an aneneome and that I dont have enough experience to deal with one and the tank is too new. So I'll wait.

 

As for the skimmer, I've taken it apart a few times trying to figure it out, but I'm gonna actually remove it, unplug it and operate, make sure everything is exactly right. If only Tunzie didn't use bablefish to translate their stuff into english.

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StevieT

I would sudgst testing the skimmer in a bucket of water or the display to see if anything is leaking.

 

All reef tanks do have some microbubbles, you can't run a skimmer and expect zero, so it all depends on what you are seeing.

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kbruin

I was reading that changes to the tank can affect the water chemistry and thus the surface tension leading to more micro bubbles. I did add 12 coral frag and tossed the whole tank on its head with a reaqua scape. I think that probably is making the skimmer angry. I'll wait a day or two more.

 

I did pull it out and give it a total goings over. There was nothing that I could see wrong with how it was put together. I reconnected all the plugs and tubes. It's still not even producing skimmate so I think it just needs time.

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kbruin

Microbubbles are improving. I think the coral were just a shock to the skimmer. I think this because when i look at the skimmate that is in the cup, its basically pink. Given I just added a big piece of pink coral, there may be a connection.

 

The tang police would be proud of my martial law. So after my sally crab was removed from the tank I decided to replace the cleaner shrimp he ate. But I did this knowing my Yellow Tang had harassed the last one I had. I was hoping the Yellow Tang wouldn't trim this new guys feelers. Well this morning I saw him do it. I decided to remove the tang from the tank and gave him away.

 

I could have kept him if I didn't want the cleaner, but I decided that I'd rather not put up with much from the tang. For being a tang in a 34g with a blue hippo and a dwarf angel I was only impressed with him. He never annoyed any of the other fish and remained active and was always eating. While I would never suggest keeping a mature yellow tang, the RSM is capable of keeping a baby one easily enough. Thou I know not everyone will agree with that.

 

A behavioral note about my blue hippo. When I first got him, he spent lots of time near the glass. Especially one corner, always could find him there. Now, he uses the whole tank both top and bottom. He seems to have adjusted to this tank nicely.

 

My future plans for the tanks are: eventually add 1-2 more fish (replace the dead Dwarf Flame Angel and add a wrasse - maybe six line). Continue adding various corals as I find deals at LFS. Possibly consider a blood shrimp. In 4 months consider trying another clownfish.

 

Here's where the tanks is today:

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kbruin

It's been a long time since I've updated. Here's a current picture. I've got a handful of corals in now. I've gone through a few different fish. Currently, I've got a mandarin goby, a bicolor psudochromis, a yellowtail damsel, and a Blue Hippo Tang. They all have been getting long great for a few months now. Many of the snails and hermits have either died or hide really well. But the turbos remain had have done well.

 

I think moving forward I'll probably swap out the damsel for a clown in a few months and maybe add back in a flame angel. I really need to get an ATO, my skimmer only works a few hours of the day since it doesn't always have the right water level and that doesn't make for a clean tank. I've been doing battle with brown/red hair algae for sometime now. None of my chem levels are too insane. I keep doing water changes every week.

 

Anyways, enjoy.

 

IMG_1208.jpg

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kbruin

Hey All,

I thought I'd resurface again, it's been almost 6 months now that I've had my RSM working. Man have I learned a lot. I've been working alot on my tank recently and I'll be getting pictures up as soon as I get a group of good ones I like.

 

Some updates on what I've experienced.

 

Well I had both good and bad experiences keeping tangs. I'm convinced they can do well in an RSM, given they are the proper size (you will eventually have to move them as they grow - granted). I had both a blue and a yellow tang and they never fought. Actually to be honest none of my fish really ever fought or showed aggression, only my crabs. I've gotten rid of both tangs now for different reasons, but if someone really wanted to try and keep one in their RSM I'd so go for it.

 

RSM skimmer. Well I replaced it with the Tunzie and used Stevies media rack and cup. They work great, but an ATO is almost totally necessary. I found my skimmer worked only like 40% of the time and It took a lot of effort to keep the water level constant. This I think caused a long battle with brown algae on the sand and rocks.

 

Hydor flo deflector. Had a hard time getting it to stick on the pump as the fit is by grip and not a screw on. I ended up using a little tubing and that worked better than what the box gives you.

 

I really like a bigger sand base. I added another 15 lbs a few days ago and I really like the look of it now.

 

I've tried keeping an anemone (condy) didn't last too long. My water conditions were fine, but I think the lack of constant SG and poor skimming made its life hard.

 

I set up a hospital tank and was keeping a clown fish in it. If you were following this thread I lost a clown, presumably to brook which i couldn't really treat the tank for. I waited a few montsh and he's in now. Seems to be doing alright. I'm gonna try and keep a bubble tip and see if the clown will dig it.

 

Crabs. Let me tell you about crabs. First I don't trust sally's. I've had two and both have been bad news. I can attribute a few fish deaths to them and even a shrimp or two. Really annoying. I feel there was plenty of food, but my flame angel was just too temping. I've got a new on in the hospital. I plan on moving him to the display at some point and probably will switch out the damsel.

 

I suck at gluing coral...

 

Cleaning the glass is not easy or at least not if your trying to go streak free. Someone said newspaper, i've yet to try it. I've had the best luck with no lint cloths.

 

You WILL reaquascape. I've changed the rocks in my tank maybe 4 or so times. Each time pretty majorly.

 

LFS are a crapshoot. I've been to probably 10 or 15 in the LA area. They all have their pluses and minuses. I've yet to find MY LFS yes, but I will.

 

Okay I think I'll stop listing random thoughts. Here's my livestock right now.

 

Mandarin Goby

BiColor Psudochromis

Flase Perc

Yellowtail Damsel

Rock/Sailfish/algae blenny

Flame Angel (hospital)

Random snails and crabs that are left

Some coral (been spending my money on hardware and fish - haven't had my to spend on corals)

 

Pictures to come. I'd welcome and questions or comments on my experience thus far with the hobby.

 

P.s. I'm pretty obsessed with it as I know you all are as well. I can't wait to move somewhere permanent. Better believe I'll be setting up a large tank in the near future.

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apexstrafer

Have you ID'd that pink coral? Looks like it might be a colt. If it is, I'd be concerned that it isn't growing like crazy in your tank as they tend to grow quickly even in sub-par conditions.

 

Also, how long have you had that mandarin? They typically need large, highly-established systems with lots of 'pods to thrive.

 

Re: crabs, I think you'd be ok with a porcelain crab. Very cool looking and I don't think they have a reputation for harming fish or corals.

 

Otherwise, nice setup you have there. I'm doing an ATO on my RSM soon as well, if you get yours up and running, please show how you rigged the float sensor. I've seen the magnet method but I don't know if I'd trust it to stay in place.

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Nanobuds

yeah, even if it is trained it needs a well established aquarium...

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kbruin

I don't think its a colt. It actually started to do rather poorly starting about a month ago and just began to shrink. Once it got to about 70% of its original size I had to remove it. I dunno what it is. I can't remember the name of the store I went to get it and I tried to find it again and I can't. I'll keep searching...

 

As for the mandarin, I think I've had him at least like a month. I was worried about his diet too. I rarely see any bugs runnin around so I've been wondering what he's eating. He appears fine thou. He doesn't eat the flake food like the other guys do. Maybe I'll throw something in there for him.

 

Pics coming soon, been lazy and I only have a canon powershot so getting the focus right is hard.

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TahoeReefer
I don't think its a colt. It actually started to do rather poorly starting about a month ago and just began to shrink. Once it got to about 70% of its original size I had to remove it. I dunno what it is. I can't remember the name of the store I went to get it and I tried to find it again and I can't. I'll keep searching...

Maybe a "Pocillopora"??

 

http://www.aquacon.com/images/070302ACRO19.jpg

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