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lshane

My First Nano

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lshane

I have just begun my first salt water aquarium. I kept many fresh water tanks growing up, and I have always had a fascination with the ocean (I spent most of my last mexico vacation staring into tidal pools). Already this hobby seems like it could turn into an obsession, and I'm sure I will encounter a lot of 'bumps' along the way.

 

I have just finished a 'mini cycle' in my tank as I used cured live rock, live sand and RO water. So my ammonia & nitrites never really went up as high as the books said they would. I have been reading for about 3 months now on how to do this whole thing, and I think I have come out with more questions than answers, so for now I am going to try to keep things as simple as possible as I figure out what I am doing.

 

I have the biocube 14 and everything on the tank is standard. I think I will keep it that way for now because frankly, I wouldn't even know where to start there are so many different ideas on this forum... for now I'm going to concentrate on livestock...

 

So I am now moving on to the hardest step of reef keeping... being patient and not trying to do everything at once! I have a few questions about what comes next but I'll start by saying what has happened so far...

 

Aquarium - Day 2, after the dust settled and I finished the aquascape...

 

IMG_6608.jpg

 

My live rock came with a bunch of hitchhikers. With the help from the ID forum I think I have most of them identified, here is what I seem to have.

 

A Eunice Worm

 

IMG_6671.jpg

 

A dozen or so feather duster worms

 

IMG_6613.jpg

 

3 Chitons & 3 Limpets

 

IMG_6591.jpg

 

1 Peaunut Worm

 

IMG_6639.jpg

 

1 Bristle Worm (green)

 

IMG_6599.jpg

 

1 Brittle Starfish or Echiura? This thing only has three legs??

 

IMG_6682.jpg

 

1 Fuzzy Worm (scale worm?), no one seemed to say what the id of this one was...

 

IMG_6596.jpg

 

1 Stringy Worm, still not 100 % sure what this one is, but it has at least 5 stringy legs and it uses them to pick up stuff from the bottom of the tank, and seems to eat snail crap, which I have learned now that snails crap a lot so I think this is a good thing...

 

IMG_6690.jpg

 

So now that I know for the most part what is in there my next step is to begin to very slowly stock the tank... So on day 10 I added a small CUC...

 

3 turbo snails

3 blue leg hermits (super tiny!)

And a bunch of shells so that the hermits don't try to steal the snails!

 

They almost all seem to be doing very well. I have one snail that doesn't seem to move around very much but the other two are fine... My husband thinks it is just lazy... I'm not so sure. And besides now having snail crap everywhere the tank seems quite clean, just a little green algae here and there, and some brown film on the sand.

 

Here is what I would like to stock the tank with... And the order I was thinking of doing it in...

 

3 nassarius

2 Cleaner Shrimp (fire shrimp)

3 scarlet hermits

1 emerald crab

 

1 clown fish

 

Then a few soft corals

Mushroom corals

Star Polyp

Zoanthid

 

Then probably another fish... something colorful? Any suggestions?

 

So now I would like to know which one to add next. The hermits and snails have been in the tank since wednesday, is it too soon to add anything else? Also of the stock list above of what I would like to add, what is the best order to add it in and how far apart? I'm assuming it will take me a couple of months before I get to the coral. Oh and do you think this is a big enough CUC? Is there anything I am missing, and is there anything that will eat all of the snail crap?

 

Thanks for everyone's help!

L

Edited by lshane

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splitskater

just wanted to say welcome, i just started my biocube 14 a little more than 3 weeks ago and had a very simillar cycle (or lack there of) to your. i cant offer any advice as i am completely new to tanks either salt or fresh.

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lshane

Also, any tips or input are welcome! I'm totally new at this so suggestions on how to make this work are going to be my lifeline!

Edited by lshane

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splitskater

you might want to add more live rock, the general rule of thumb is 1-2 lbs of rock per gallon. How many lbs do you have now?

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Bonsai

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Lalani

:welcome:

And congrats on those cool hitchhikers! Did you say where you bought your live rock from?

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lshane
you might want to add more live rock, the general rule of thumb is 1-2 lbs of rock per gallon. How many lbs do you have now?

 

I have 12 1/2 lbs of live rock and 20 lbs of live sand. I was thinking of putting a little more up front. Is it better to build around or build up? Do I need to leave some space covered with just sand?

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lshane
:welcome:

And congrats on those cool hitchhikers! Did you say where you bought your live rock from?

 

I bought the LR at a store in Calgary called Ocean City on 16th Ave. It is from Bima Island?? I absolutely love the store the two owners have been so helpful and have spent a lot of time talking with me about how to go about starting. A lot of stores seem to want to sell you livestock really quickly, but they have encouraged me to take it slow. Plus there prices seem to be just about as good as the big stores.

 

L

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splitskater

i have about 18 lbs of rock set up like this:

P1000355.jpg

i wanted to set mine up in a sort of step pyramid shape to have a lot of flat surfaces and little ledges for coral.......but i do wish i had more sand room up front to put corals, i have some but i would like a little more!

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privatelykept

Ok...your pics are way cool. We just started our 24gl tank and I had no idea until I saw your pics...but we might have a Brittle Starfish too! We also have a feather duster that looks just like the one in your pic. We also found a crab and I'm trying to identify it. It has a good chance of being an emerald crab...but it scurried away too fast for me to get a good look at it. I could only catch views of the legs because it was trying to hide. I'm not sure we want to keep the bristle worms...we have a few of them. We just started our cycling process. I hope none of our hitchikers die. Welcome to the site. I know we're excited to be a part of it.

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lshane
i have about 18 lbs of rock set up like this:

 

i wanted to set mine up in a sort of step pyramid shape to have a lot of flat surfaces and little ledges for coral.......but i do wish i had more sand room up front to put corals, i have some but i would like a little more!

 

I like the way your rockscape looks! Maybe I will add a bit more LR in the area around my little arch, make a big cave or something. I don't the the arch is that stable anyway...

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splitskater

i am not sure, maybe one of the gurus will chime in but adding more LR may start a new cycle if you have any die off. i am not sure if adding a few lbs or so will have kind of affect or not, maybe if you only a large amount, and have a lot of die-off.....idk

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lshane
i am not sure, maybe one of the gurus will chime in but adding more LR may start a new cycle if you have any die off. i am not sure if adding a few lbs or so will have kind of affect or not, maybe if you only a large amount, and have a lot of die-off.....idk

 

 

I don't think I would put in that much, and the cycle that I did have with the first LR that I put in didn't make the levels go very high. So maybe I will add a bit more next week.

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JBM

adding lr might cause a mini cycle. if your gonna add anymore lr. I would do it now before you have fish in the tank....

 

Altho.... if you like the amount of rock you have now. then leave it be. I would rather you be happy with what you have, than unhappy with another look.

 

As far as stocking plans, you can probably get 3 fish in there safely in time. & i mean in time.... dont count days, count weeks. Only bad things come fast in reef tanks... Anyway, a pair of clowns & a small goby of some sort would work out well in a biocube.

 

i'll peek in every once in a while to see how your doing

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plainrt

looks good i wold add a little more live rock but not too much.I now regret going with over 20lbs in my 14 gal display.I would have done like 15 or so.check my build out in my sig below.

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Aquapod24_

Nice. Just as everyone says. Take it slowly. For a tank like that the best thing once established is just keep the water changes coming. Some nano peeps don't use protein skimmers either. I didn't read if you had one. I don't and my tank seems to be alright. Then again unlike many tanks here mine is over 2 years established as you can see by all my coralline algae. Congrats and just have fun! :D

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lshane

Thanks for the feedback. I think I might add a little more LR. I don't have a protein skimmer I would like to keep things as natural as possible and use bio filtration... So I think more LR would be good.

 

What should I add next? I am thinking something that will help keep the snail crap in check, any ideas?Maybe a cleaner shrimp in a week or so.

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plainrt

Dont add a shrimp yet,wait a while for one of them.I dont run a skimmer in my cube either and all is well.

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lshane

Can anyone give me a timeline on approximately when I should add different CUC's, fish, corals etc?

 

Thanks,

L

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DrCooper

Great setup so far. I also used cured rock for my setup and added my CUC within the first week. Waited another week and then started to add fish. I also added a few frags after one week. Been about 4 months and thankfully all are thriving.

If your water tests out good, GO FOR IT!

 

I know this hobby is all about patience, but the bottom line is your water quality and parameters. Once they are in line START HAVING FUN

obviously add slowly but I mean some people go on and on about waiting x weeks for this and y weeks for that.

 

 

woops, forgot. I do water change every week NO MATTER WHAT

also have skimmer but not needed if you dont want!

 

good luck and enjoy

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plainrt

wow..........Wait maybe 3-4 weeks for your levels to come close to spec then add a little clean up crew wait little longer to make sure good then add rest of clean up crew.I would say at month or so can add some easy corals/fish.Dont add all at one time.Every tank is different so just watch how your cycle goes.

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waterat4

Hi there the tanks looking great! just been doing a bit of digging on ur stringy worm, it some times known as a 'spaghetti worm' or terrebelid as you noted before they are completely harmless, they help remove detritus..........and snail crap!

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plainrt

My sand has tons and tons of them in my 14 gal.every where look even high up on my rockwork..

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lshane

So today I went to my LFS and bought some more live rock and sand. I did a new rockscape, not to sure what I think of it yet, but I really like the rock I got, it is super dark purple. I haven't found any new hitchers yet, but after being so disturbed I'm sure it will take them a while to come out.

 

I also added more sand. I think I might have a bit too much now, but I will leave it for now and maybe just try and get a few sand sifting snails next week.

 

Aquarium Display

 

IMG_6725-1.jpg

 

New Rockscape

 

IMG_6717.jpg

 

I also checked all my levels again today. It looks like Amonia is around 0.25, Nitrites are 0 and Nitrates are 5

 

So what does everyone think of the rockscape... be honest... and do you think I have too much sand? Also, am I reading the different levels right?

 

Thanks for all the input & feedback

 

L

Edited by lshane

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plainrt

rock work looks good.Maybe a bit too much sand.At one point i had alot but then removed some also out of mine

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