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Mr Aqua 17.1 R.I.P.


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Mr Aqua material starts on 9th post, Pg 2.


You've probably read some of my posts or replies over the last 5 months but I have yet to do a real live build thread until now.

I started in to this hobby right after Christmas 2013 and read and researched tons and tons of info on Reef-keeping (particularly nano size) before starting.

I was a police officer for years as my career but my hobby and first love (which turned into a very expensive obsession) was flying the advanced level sequence in my Extra 300 unlimited class aerobatic aircraft. Some years ago, while competing in a IAC competition in Prague Czech Republic, I roomed wirth a fellow pilot from there who kept a 180gal reef tank in his home. I spent hours just staring at it and right then, I was hooked. It only took me 19 years to finally begin the hobby.


I started with an Eheim 6gal tank which lasted about 1 month before a falling light fixture landed on and cracked the tank. Enter a JBJ Picotope as my second attempt which cycled with live rock and sand and supported misc coral for about 3 1/2 months. I then noticed bubble algae, grn hair algae, Bryopsis and aptasia popping up everywhere. It didn't happen overnight but just crept up on me. I fought low PH, high Nitrates and Phosphates. I also never set up a quarantine tank (big mistake and one i wont repeat).


Well, I decided to do a ton more research and set up and cycle a legitimate QT. I put all my healthy coral and livestock in there and decided to follow the old quote "THIRD TIMES A CHARM"


I was in Petco and saw a sign advertising a "dollar per gallon sale". So i gave up the idea of spending big bucks on a new, sleek, and larger tank and bought a standard AGA 10gal tank for 10$ . I did decide to use more dollars to purchase some quality new equipment to use on this or any other tank that comes my way in the future.


The very first decision I made was to use all dry rock and sand to avoid any type of toxic or live hitchikers and then to make it live by cycling it with "Dr Tims One and Only bacteria starter" and the ammonia he also sells. I am ready for a long and boring cycle but this time, I want to do it right. I have everything in place and plan to get the tank wet tomorrow or Saturday.


Here is a list of my equipment, etc and photos of my "currently still dry" aquascape and lighting choice.

I'm using 2 Par 38s because the tank is 20" across and i want no shadow areas on the edges. the bulbs are fully Dimmable.




10 gal Tetra AGA standard rimmed.



10.5 lbs BRS dry Reef Saver Rock

9lbs Aragonite special grade reef sand (dry)

AQ 70 Fuge mod (floss, carbon, Chemi pure Elite. Seachem Denitrate (if needed), Chaeto.



Red Sea Coral Pro



Hydor Slim Skim Nano (in tank)



Tunze Osmolator 3155



Coral Compulsion PAR 38 24w 20k Dimmable X2 with Office Max "architects" fixtures.



50 Watt Eheim Jager or Aqueon.



CUC-- Dwarf Ceriths, Florida Ceriths, Nassarius, Nerites. posssibly a fighting Conch


FISH-- False Percula and possibly one other small fish.


INVERTS-- 2 Sexy shrimp. 1 Emerald crab (down the road)



Armor of God (palys)

Oxides (zoa)

Lord of the Rings (zoa)

Two toned Ricordia

Liams Clove polyps

Devils Armor (zoa)


Ora Green Birds nest

Aussie Acan Reds

unk Green zoa frag

Yellow tipped Torch Coral


Sure hope you enjoy my posts. I apologize for the photos but my cell cam is all i have and I dont have much luck with sites like "Photo Bucket" etc. So for now, these thumb nails are all i can produce.


See you later, any and all comments and suggestions are eagerly awaited. AVIATOR300



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Great scape!

I used dry rock and have been battling insane phosphate problems for over a year.....check out BAs thread. He has a great write up on bathing the dry rock in acid.

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Yep, i've been reading about dry rock phosphate leaching also and did a lot of research. It seems that it really depends on the brand and source of the rock. For example--Bulk reef supply sells different rocks and most of the posts about their Pukani rock talk about serious Po4 leaching but posts on their Reef Saver rock are just the opposite and talk about very few problems. Seems that dry rock mined from the ocean have these issues more than rock mined inland.


I thought about an acid bath but am very familiar with the process from my swimming pool refurbishing days. It does take of a very thin layer of rock but most Po4 laden rocks have it all the way through.


Anyway, thanks for the heads up and i hope you are able to solve your problem.

Just out of curiosity, what brand of dry rock did you use?

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Today the tank gets wet.

It has all the equipment installed and i'm mixing up a batch of water to go into it. I'll post an FTS later this afternoon when it's all up and running.


P.S. I feel like an idiot because in all my set up and detailed preparation to get this tank running, I forgot to leak test it. Oh well, it will be leak tested for sure in a couple more hours LOL.

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DAY 4 of cycle.


I filled the tank on 5/25 and added Dr Tims bacteria along with liquid Ammonia to feed the bacteria.

Here is the readings taken yesterday morning.


5/27 Ammo 0.75 ppm

Nitrite 0.00


One of my Par 38 bulbs shorted out and caused an arc that burned out a timer. I was going to order another one but decided to go in another direction altogether.

I'm already planning my next project (promised my wife at least a year away) and it will be something larger (maybe 20 to 30 gals). I decided to order lighting with a little more oomph (is oomph a word).


I ordered an Ocean Revive Arctic T247 and will be hanging it over my 10 gal for now. It probably is major overkill but is fully dimmable in 2 channels and i'll probably run it at only 20% to start. It is the exact same light that Reef Breeders sells as its "SuperLux".


I took a couple photos of the filled tank for your review. Talk at everyone later. AVIATOR300





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I'm a little unsure what type of shots you wanted but here's 3. I just have floss and a sponge in it now while cycling. The cord in the right rear corner is to a PH probe.

I'm building a hanger frame for the new light out of PVC pipe (to be painted black)


Day 5 of cycle.


Ammonia 1.0

Nitrite Trace




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Scape looks good wet. I'll be using reef saver for my first build too. A lot of people warned me about BRS phosphate problems and I told them the same thing, the reef saver is supposed to be totally free of it. Hope third time is the charm for you!

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Thanks NYR. After the initial cycle i'll test regularly for PO4 and post the results.

With the distilled water and salt mix i use, i've never had a detectable PO4 level using a Salifert tester (now Nitrate's another story LOL).


If the phosphate rises, i'll know it is from the rock and I will keep everyone informed.


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Day 5 of cycle


The Ammonia is creeping up and so is the nitrates.


Ammonia 2.0

Nitrite 0.25

Nitrate no test done yet


PO4 Reef Saver rock has been in 5 days now. I will test PO4 tomorrow to see if any

is leaching from rock.


Im building a PVC frame for my lighting and will post pics after it's painted tomorrow.

In the meantime, UPS says the light will be delivered tomorrow.

I've been reading mixed comments on these "Ocean Revive" lights. Seems they're made

in China under the name "Evergrow" and several distributors import them under different names.

They are the same light that Reef Breeders calls their "Value" and their "photon" series lighting.

All the actual reviews i've seen say they are great but some folks (who have never tried them)

call them inferior and then push their favorite brand of lights. does anyone reading this use or have used these lights?


Anyway, I thought i'd try to post and old photo of me and my Soulmate just so you can see a little of my past. Sorry about the very large photo but i'm just learning to work with Photobucket



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Are you just using a hang-on filteration setup? How does it work, because I'm curious in regards to setting up a 10G but don't have the room to have a seperate sump I'd like to have something on-top of the table (like a hang on assuming that's what I see in your pics!)


Thx! :)

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I am using an Aquaclear 70 HOB filter modified to work as a refugium. I keep filter floss, Chemi-pur Elite, Seachems Denitrate and Chaeto. It has its own small light to grow the Chaeto. I also used to keep my heater in there and still keep my PH probe.


There is a great instructional post about moding the AC70 to a fuge in "Pico Tanks" sub forum.

It is the first post in the pico tank forum entitled "El Fabs simple guide to pico tanks".

The specific post is on pg 2 and it is the 24th from the top of pg 2.

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Alright. Since i filled the tank last Sunday, this must be day 7 of the cycle so here's the numbers.


Ammonia 2.0

Nitrite 2.0

Nitrate 0

Phos 0 This is good because there has been some question about BRS dry rock

leaching phosphates. It's only been 7 days so things could change.


I'm still doing the Dr Tims thing with the bacteria and ammonia and so far so good.

My light came Friday and I installed it on my DIY frame. I took some photos of the light and

also some FTS. I'm running dark while cycling but I played around with the light to get some


Hey Kijho, were you able to figure out the HOB Aquaclear fuge setup?

While the cycle is going on, my coral and clownfish "Nemo" (original huh) are all hanging out in my quarantine tank just chomping at the bit to get back into a real tank with rocks,etc.


Again, sorry for the piecemeal photo processing. Sooner or later this old guy will figure out the ins and outs of photo bucket.





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Looks great! Are you planning to eventually move the heater into filter?

I've never had much luck keeping temps stable when the heater is in the fuge. Possibly because it gets hotter in there when the fuge light is on. I really dont know but in the tank, it keeps the temp +/- 0.3 degrees.


Congratulations, great idea and good technical choice. Could you give me the dimensions of the tank?

20" x 10" x 12" H

Looks great! Are you planning to eventually move the heater into filter?

I've never had much luck keeping temps stable when the heater is in the fuge. Possibly because it gets hotter in there when the fuge light is on. I really dont know but in the tank, it keeps the temp +/- 0.3 degrees.

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Glad to hear no phosphate problems with the reef saver rock. Light came out sweet as well!

Hey Ranger.

Are you gonna be in LA Wed for the game? "Bout them Rangers!!"


On the reef subject. I'll be keeping a close eye out for any PO4 leaching and post results at least weekly. I would think that if none shows up for a month or so (especially before any life goes into the tank) the rock is clean.

I've done a lot of forum searching and to this point I haven"t read any posts about BRS "Reef Saver" rock leaching phosphates.


Is there anyone out there who has experienced PO4 leaching from this specific brand of dry rock?

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Partially Submerged

I've never had much luck keeping temps stable when the heater is in the fuge. Possibly because it gets hotter in there when the fuge light is on. I really dont know but in the tank, it keeps the temp +/- 0.3 degrees.


Weird. I've found that the heater in the filter gives me the most stable temperatures since the water around it is constantly replaced. But there is probably no such thing as the one perfect heater location.

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Hey Ranger.

Are you gonna be in LA Wed for the game? "Bout them Rangers!!"

I hope so!! Win or lose I'm proud that they made it this far. They've given it one hell of a run!

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