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Osric

Osric's 34g Solana Build Thread

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Osric

As the thread gets a little long, and because I don't have much better stuff to post right now, I thought I'd take a minute and start building an index to various events in the thread.

 

Latest FTS (December 24, 2010):

 

FTS_PhotoShop_Dec2010.jpg

 

----

Old information:

 

Currently stocked with (in order of being observed in the tank):

 

2 Chestnut Turbos

1 Sally Lightfoot

1 Cleaner Shrimp

3 Moon Snails

1 Conch

1 Nassarius

1 HH Crab

1 HH Brittle star

1 HH Snail

1 Yellow Watchman Goby

2 Green BTA (original split)

1 Flame Angel

2 Clownfish (Ocelaris)

1 Sun Polyp colony

1 Galaxy Coral

1 Sixline Wrasse

 

16 Feb 2009 - Initial setup (bottom of this post)

22 Feb 2009 - Initial livestock - Sally Lightfoot & 5 Chestnut Turbos

01 Mar 2009 - More livestock - cleaner shrimp & two clownfish

07 Mar 2009 - The battle with Cyano begins

09 Mar 2009 - Sally molts!

14 Mar 2009 - Vortech MP20 added - cyano battle officially over

22 Mar 2009 - Hitchikers - crab & brittle star (no pics)

 

--- 8< cut here --- original initial post below

 

While trying to patiently wait for my tank to be pronounced cycled by those wiser and more patient than I, thought I'd post some pictures of the initial setup.

 

IMG_5075.JPG

 

IMG_5078.JPG

 

IMG_5084.JPG

 

The plan is to add a clean up crew, followed by a pair of juvenile true percs a few weeks later.

 

Maybe a month after that, I'd like to add a dwarf angel. However I've read (on the articles here) that this fish is a poor choice for a nano-reef - comments? I was thinking 34g was large enough for it, but am I mistaken?

 

The kids really want a cleaner shrimp, so that's an easy addition at some point too. Then I'd eventually like to add a BTA hoping the clowns will take to it, but that seems like it's a very long way off ...

 

Advice/comments appreciated.

 

Osric

Edited by Osric

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TriggerHappyDude

I'm hoping to be at this point in a month or so, still gathering up and purchasing my equipment.

Nice start on yours! I like it. Is this build all stock equipment? Or did you upgrade anything?

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SpankythePyro

nice, I love the black sandbed.

 

I think the angel.. if you are talking about the fire... it is bad to keep because it has been known to nip at corals

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Osric

It's all stock equipment. For me, that was one of the appeals of the solana - a very nice kit, all the basics are there.

 

The main thing everyone seems to replace is the skimmer, with the Tunze 9002 being the popular choice, after buying a modified skimmer collection cup from StevieT. I plan to try to make do with the stock skimmer for as long as possible.

 

The second most popular upgrade seems to be an ATO system instead of the provided bottles for top-off. I plan to keep the glass on mine (as long as that doesn't make it too hot - so far so good) but I still think I might want to get an automated top off so that I don't have to worry so much about evaporation. I'll wait a few months to see how frustrating the bottles get.

 

It's been 10 years I've been waiting to get into this hobby - now that I've started, this first few weeks of waiting to get livestock into the tank is going to practically kill me :)

 

Osric

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Osric
nice, I love the black sandbed.

 

I think the angel.. if you are talking about the fire... it is bad to keep because it has been known to nip at corals

 

Thanks - I'm enjoying the black sand choice too, think it makes the rock stand out nicely.

 

In terms of dwarf angles, I'd consider a cherub or flame dwarf. The article I read here implied there wouldn't be enough swimming space.

 

I see from your thread that you want a flame angel too - from what I've read it's 50/50 whether they'll nip your coral or not - a risk, it seems, that we might both be taking. I call heads - you flip ... ;-)

 

Osric

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Nellis

Nice rocks. Looks good so far.

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TriggerHappyDude

Osric, 10 years plus for me too, mid/late 90's I had a fish only saltwater tank. So its like starting over, learning new stuff especially the reef stuff, but its fun.

 

There is another alternative to the Tunze skimmer. Its a Sapphire Aquatics Nano Skimmer, made for the Solana, I bought it but can't tell you how it works yet. I haven't used it yet, my tank is dry. But its another choice, and it fits awesome in that first chamber, where the Tunze might need some modding.

 

I've done lots of upgrades, just because there is a certain look I want from the tank itself, and I plan to one day upgrade the tank to a customized tank. So I've already started.

 

I will keep an eye out on your thread...seems like a great start.

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marinebiologist

i like your rock work and you can add more fish than just those three. the cleaner shrimp is a good choice. they are really active and fun to watch. i also have 2 fish in my 12 gallon so your tank wont be overstocked.

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SpankythePyro
Thanks - I'm enjoying the black sand choice too, think it makes the rock stand out nicely.

 

In terms of dwarf angles, I'd consider a cherub or flame dwarf. The article I read here implied there wouldn't be enough swimming space.

 

I see from your thread that you want a flame angel too - from what I've read it's 50/50 whether they'll nip your coral or not - a risk, it seems, that we might both be taking. I call heads - you flip ... ;-)

 

Osric

 

haha I'll take tails...that way atleast one of us comes out +

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pismo_reefer

i like ur rockz.

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Osric

So, controversially and predictably, today I added livestock to the tank. I am at the 1 week mark and haven't measured any ammonia in the tank since it went to 0 on day 2, nor have I have I ever seen any nitrite. I decided a CUC couldn't hurt, though the predominant advice I have received is to wait...

 

So I have added:

 

1 Sally Lightfoot (sic) Crab

5 Chestnut Turbo Snails

 

After eating enthusiastically for the first few minutes of the tank, the crab retreated to where I can't even snap a photo. Three of the snails stayed more or less put where I put them on the rock; the smallest fell to the sand twice and will now have to fend for himself, and the largest is chilling on the glass. We'll see how everyone is doing in a few hours...

 

Osric

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Cubby23

Great looking start! Your rock is really spectactular it looks really porous and mature. I like the layout too. It sounds like you are taking the right steps. The chestnut turbos was a good addition. Mine were just breeding the other day.

 

Are you using their stock PC light? If you are looking for good looking corals or any SPS I would really look into sunpod, 150W or 250W, 20" and 24" both fit fine on the tank.

 

I have been content with stock skimmer. Unless you plan on a really large bio load I would focus funds to a nice light before a skimmer.

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Osric
Are you using their stock PC light? If you are looking for good looking corals or any SPS I would really look into sunpod, 150W or 250W, 20" and 24" both fit fine on the tank.

 

I am using the stock HQI 150W MH Pendant. It's a beautiful fixture, and I think will provide plenty of light for my needs for a long, long time. Based on measurements from another hobbyist, it seems 150W is really all I need on the Solana.

 

Nice to know you're happy with the stock skimmer. Any cure for microbubbles aside from waiting? Any advice on making it quieter?

 

I was able to get a snapshot of the sally lightfoot and a snail.

 

Osric

 

IMG_5100.JPG

 

IMG_5098.JPG

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Osric
So I have added:

 

1 Sally Lightfoot (sic) Crab

5 Chestnut Turbo Snails

 

This doesn't seem to be a mistake, yet. The sally lightfoot is full of character, tons of fun to watch scuttling all over the tank, over and under and through the rock in every nook and cranny. The snails, as per the LFS' prediction, are not so exciting - two definitely look dead, overturned on the bottom, two accounted for, and one MIA (could be anywhere, I have put so many hiding places in the rock in the form of small passages and caves). Ammonia and nitrite remain pegged at 0s, didn't measure anything else today.

 

I'm debating a shrimp this weekend, depending on how the tank is doing.

 

Osric

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Osric

Looks like the shrimp will be a go ... Saturday, I guess ... all params at 0 now, including nitrate. Pretty happy with how things are shaping up!

 

Osric

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Kraylen

Ugh sally light foots give me the heebz for some reason.

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Osric
Ugh sally light foots give me the heebz for some reason.

 

My wife says it reminds her of a spider, I think she's only ok with it because it's in the tank and has some nice coloration. Personally I love it - it's so large, and has lots of reactions to people around the tank - it is also fun to watch it go upside down and to have to hunt to find it each time I approach the tank.

 

Do they always produce solid waste in the same spot? I have a large pile of stuff accumulated in exactly one spot in the tank, and I wonder if it's the crab's excrement...

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Osric

IMG_5167.JPGIMG_5196.JPGIMG_5210.JPG

 

Livestock added, perhaps against the better judgement of others...but tank params look perfect, I'm looking forward to seeing these clowns grow up!

 

Osric

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Gerber77

The clowns look good, definitely keep up with the water changes and keep a close eye on the parameters, the cleaner shrimp can be very sensitive to water fluctuation.

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Osric
The clowns look good, definitely keep up with the water changes and keep a close eye on the parameters, the cleaner shrimp can be very sensitive to water fluctuation.

 

So far so good, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate all 0s, 8.4 PH, 8-9 dkh, 35 ppt salinity, 79.2F. The cleaner shrimp molted today, I was surprised he's growing that fast. Everyone in the tank seems happy and healthy so far...

 

Osric

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Osric

Hmm. Params looking good today although the temp spiked to 82.9F and algae seems to be a nuisance since yesterday. Both days I came home to a tank with lots of algae on the glass and lots of dirty bubbles on the rock, as well as a film on the surface water.

 

At least the livestock are all happy, will have to get a test kit for phosphates tomorrow, and I'm definitely looking for advice on what to tweak/add/remove to slow down the growth. Perhaps some more snails is not a bad idea, I do only have 5 snails in the tank...

 

Osric

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pprwngs

Do you have pics of the algae so we can see what kind it is? It sounds like diatoms or cyano. Check this link for ID and ways to help get rid of them!

 

Film on water surface, are you agitating the water surface with a powerhead?

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Osric
Do you have pics of the algae so we can see what kind it is? It sounds like diatoms or cyano. Check this link for ID and ways to help get rid of them!

 

So unfortunately the main mass of blue/black slime is in a position that's really hard to photograph. I originally thought it might be the beginnings of bubble algae, but now I believe it is more likely blue-green cyano.

 

It's on a foundation rock that I was reluctant to remove but at this point it seems like removal of the rock to manually clean it might be easiest. There are two rocks where the problem is most prevalent; the bottom rock has a bunch of the blue green slime, and the top rock gets covered in bubbles.

 

Film on water surface, are you agitating the water surface with a powerhead?

 

Hmm, I have a powerhead that I've been alternating between the display tank (during the photoperiod) and the QT (to keep aged water ready for a water change), probably there is not enough water movement.

 

I think for now my plan is:

 

1- remove the two most problematic rocks, clean and replace.

2- Add chaeto to my refugium to compete for phosphates

3- get a phosphate test kit and measure

4- Add a powerful powerhead to create constant, whole-tank water movement (I am thinking of a vortech)

 

Thoughts/suggestions?

 

Osric

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Osric

Here is the best image I've been able to get of the problem area. I had a powerhead blowing on the rock so you can't see the bubbles, but you can see the slimy green-black blob on the rock that I initiallly took to be bubble algae but now think is blue-green cyano.

 

IMG_5240.JPG

 

I got some of my plan underway, starting with the cheato for the fuge. This basic freshwater light is a perfect fit for the width of the fuge, brightly illuminating it and nothing else:

 

IMG_5258.JPG

 

I was going to use velcro to attach but somehow the guy at the LFS convinced me that sticky tac would do. I really didn't feel confident it was going to hold so I rigged up some extra support out of a used up toilet paper roll!

 

IMG_5256.JPGIMG_5257.JPG

 

So the cheato is in the middle chamber, illuminated at night (i.e. opposite my tank's photoperiod) and hopefully it can compete effectively with the algae in the main tank. For now I am not adding any potassium nitrate, but if the cheato can't starve out the cyano, I will.

 

I didn't get as far as actually removing the rock to clean it, or installing the vortech - the LFS didn't have the pump, and the powerhead blasting the rock made things look enough better that I somehow forgot I still need to physically remove the rocks. Will have to do that tomorrow.

 

As for measuring phosphate, it reads 0. I assume the uptake is as fast as production...

 

Osric

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pprwngs

I like the TP roll, LOL!

 

Your reverse photo period with your fuge light, does it come on right when you lights turn on and off right when they go off? Or does it go on just before they go off and off just after they come back on? The reason I ask is I've heard a reverse cycle where the fuge light goes on/off a little before/after your main lights go on/off helps with stabilizing pH. Anyways I hope you understood what I said... It sounded confusing to me!

 

Jim

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