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Bamzam

Bamzam 12g long

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Bamzam

Hi,

 

Starting a thread so I can document my build. This is my first saltwater tank, so please feel free to chime in if you see me going in a wrong direction. I started cycling on 5/18/16 with a bottle of Fritz Zyme 9 and a raw shrimp. Thanks for viewing!

 

FTS in reverse chronological order:

 

1/14/17:

Kh1opy3l.jpg

 

12/26/16:

Q2CP647l.jpg

 

6/5/16:

cK4xaZRl.jpg

 

5/21/16:

VT4bQYfl.jpg

 

Tank/Equipment:

Mr Aqua 12 Long

Florida Reef Rock from www.reefcleaners.org

CaribSea Arag-Alive Fiji Pink

Current USA Orbit Marine 36"

2 AI Prime HD

AIO insert from www.oceanboxdesigns.com

Eheim 600 pump

Jebao SOW4

Cobalt Neo-Therm 75 watt

Autoaqua Smart ATO

Apex Classic

2 BRS 1.1 ml Dosers

 

Pic inside AIO insert. Media chamber is empty while I cycle, but I plan to use filter floss in the top and chemipure blue in the middle chamber.

 

 

jqItISOl.jpg

 

Side shot below. I'm pretty sure I'll be removing the middle rock once the tank is ready for some coral so that there's a little more room in the tank. I think I'll be removing some sand as well once the cycle ends. I used the whole 10 lb bag, but i'd like my sandbed to be a little lower at just 0.5"

 

mZJ6af9l.jpg

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Bamzam

Hi All,

 

I got my water tested a few days ago since I'm approaching the 2 week mark. Ammonia is gone...still showing some nitrites and I had a lot of nitrate, so it looks like I'm almost there. I'm getting brown algae everywhere so I'm going to be needing my clean up crew pretty soon. I took the raw shrimp out today and removed some of the sand to have a lower sandbed. This was the first time I've touched anything inside the tank since I put water in and began the cycle. When I disturbed the sandbed it clouded the whole tank up and it looks like day 1 again. Is that common and should I expect this for a while when I start doing water changes? Or was I supposed to stir up my sand bed more when I originally set the tank up?

 

Also, what are everyone's thoughts on a mini refugium in one of the chambers in the AIO? I was considering some chaeto with a LED stuck on the glass outside of the chamber. Is that too small to actually be effective?

 

Thanks!

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Bamzam

Well the water cleared up after a few hours. I got my water tested again today since it's been about 4 days. No ammonia and no nitrite! I changed out 50% of the water and there was no cloudiness this time. Added filter floss, chemipure blue and some Seachem Stability, and after about an hour of drip acclimation, introduced these guys to their new home:

 

5SjCXfnl.jpg

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jack1978

Hi All,

 

I got my water tested a few days ago since I'm approaching the 2 week mark. Ammonia is gone...still showing some nitrites and I had a lot of nitrate, so it looks like I'm almost there. I'm getting brown algae everywhere so I'm going to be needing my clean up crew pretty soon. I took the raw shrimp out today and removed some of the sand to have a lower sandbed. This was the first time I've touched anything inside the tank since I put water in and began the cycle. When I disturbed the sandbed it clouded the whole tank up and it looks like day 1 again. Is that common and should I expect this for a while when I start doing water changes? Or was I supposed to stir up my sand bed more when I originally set the tank up?

 

Also, what are everyone's thoughts on a mini refugium in one of the chambers in the AIO? I was considering some chaeto with a LED stuck on the glass outside of the chamber. Is that too small to actually be effective?

 

Thanks!

Love these tanks.

I wouldn't bother with the refugium. Toss a skimmer in there if you can. Or, just do weekly waterchanges and you'll be fine.

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Bamzam

Finally have some stuff to look at in here

 

Purple torch with a bright green center:

b7znc2sl.jpg

 

Candy Cane:

NDfTdfgl.jpg

 

Acan:

ToM9wxCl.jpg

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Sharbuckle

Really like your scape. Great job.

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pewpewkittah

Looks great! I love your clowns :happy:. I'll be following your progress.

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Bamzam

Thanks! I'm gonna give the tank a week to settle and then begin really testing to see how these few frags are affecting cal/alk. I'm not dosing now but I'm thinking of going the kalkwasser in the ATO route and giving a birdsnest a try.

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Oceanbox Designs

Very nice progress so far! I love the combination of the AIO and Orbit Marine light stands look like they were made perfectly for this setup.

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rickztahone

Very cool. I saw your first pic and I immediately thought it was cool that you had an added section for your overflow, but then realized it was an AIO. I have a build currently where I actually built an add on to the tank so it wouldn't encroach on the tank itself. If you'd like to check it out, it is here:

http://www.nano-reef.com/topic/373481-rickztahs-low-iron-22g-rbta-euphyllia-clownfish-update-5-28-16/

 

Following along your journey :)

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Bamzam

Thanks! Rickz, I've been following your build here and on simplydiscus. Tbh, you kinda pushed me into giving it a try. I was always hesitant to try saltwater, but started thinking...if I could handle daily water changes on my discus tank, how much more work could a reef tank be? Lol. I feel a little guilty too because I don't stare at my discus tank much anymore...even with just 2 clowns and a few frags, this saltwater tank has me mesmerized.

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rickztahone

Thanks! Rickz, I've been following your build here and on simplydiscus. Tbh, you kinda pushed me into giving it a try. I was always hesitant to try saltwater, but started thinking...if I could handle daily water changes on my discus tank, how much more work could a reef tank be? Lol. I feel a little guilty too because I don't stare at my discus tank much anymore...even with just 2 clowns and a few frags, this saltwater tank has me mesmerized.

haha, I honestly thought I recognized your username but didn't say anything. I figured if I could change out 55g of water daily on my discus tank, then SW shouldn't be so bad. Now that I have been acquiring my gear, I am thinking the discus route is actually the cheapest route, lol.

 

I like the look of sand in your tank, I just can't get myself to do it. Too many years with discus has taught me that substrate is a hassle that I can avoid. With that said, I see the benefits in a SW tank. Good luck and I look forward to your progress. What is your main goal for the tank?

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Bldgengineer

This is a pretty sweet set up! Following along to watch your progress

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Bamzam

I think my goals just changed lol. I'm set with fish with my clowns. For coral...originally I was going to do only lps. I wanted to avoid dosing and stick to weekly water changes because I'm afraid of messing up while dosing and causing a tank crash. But now I think it's inevitable that I will need to dose eventually. I'm still gonna stick to mainly lps, but I want to get a birds nest and probably a couple digis as well. So for now I'm just researching how to dose and the different options. I applaud you for the patience you've had with your build! Bet you can't wait to start stocking that tank.

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Scorched

Nice setup dude. The pattern on the clowns look great.

 

As for the dosing part I wouldn't worry about it too much in the beginning. Fresh saltwater from your water changes should be plenty for a few weeks to a few months depending on how fast and how many corals you are adding. The amount you have now will have very little effect.

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rickztahone

I think my goals just changed lol. I'm set with fish with my clowns. For coral...originally I was going to do only lps. I wanted to avoid dosing and stick to weekly water changes because I'm afraid of messing up while dosing and causing a tank crash. But now I think it's inevitable that I will need to dose eventually. I'm still gonna stick to mainly lps, but I want to get a birds nest and probably a couple digis as well. So for now I'm just researching how to dose and the different options. I applaud you for the patience you've had with your build! Bet you can't wait to start stocking that tank.

I kind of agree with you. At first I thought I wasn't going to dose but the more and more I read through builds I really like and want to emulate, the more I see that they all dose, lol. I want to dose kalkwasser and 2 part. I am going to go with a Jebao 4 head pump and hope for the best. Don't know where the heck I am going to put those dosing containers though....

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Bamzam

I kind of agree with you. At first I thought I wasn't going to dose but the more and more I read through builds I really like and want to emulate, the more I see that they all dose, lol. I want to dose kalkwasser and 2 part. I am going to go with a Jebao 4 head pump and hope for the best. Don't know where the heck I am going to put those dosing containers though....

My discus habits start to kick in and I wonder if I can just increase my water changes. I understand stability is key...but if I ensure to match temp and salinity, I wonder if I can just do 2 gallon water changes twice a week and if that would be sufficient to replenish cal/alk/etc?

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Bldgengineer

My discus habits start to kick in and I wonder if I can just increase my water changes. I understand stability is key...but if I ensure to match temp and salinity, I wonder if I can just do 2 gallon water changes twice a week and if that would be sufficient to replenish cal/alk/etc?

You could always start with one 20% change a week and adjust from there. I would think it would be easier to determine if you need to add more wc vs less. Then again, I'm no expert either :P

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Bamzam

You could always start with one 20% change a week and adjust from there. I would think it would be easier to determine if you need to add more wc vs less. Then again, I'm no expert either :P

I agree 100% I'm thinking way down the line for some reason. Like scorched mentioned I probably won't have to worry about this for a while..

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Bamzam

Well I picked up some Salifert test kits since I'm starting to stock up the tank with frags. Got the following results for Cal/Alk:

 

7 days after a water change:

Cal 350, Alk 7

 

After 20% water change:

Cal 370, Alk 7

 

Tested Salt Water from the LFS (which I've always used since starting the tank. They use fritz pro reef salt):

Cal 420, Alk 7.7

 

Any thoughts on these results? I think I'm going to add 1/2 teaspoon of kalkwasser per gallon in my ATO tomorrow. In 2 weeks it looks like my ATO used just under 2 gallons. Do you all think this will have much impact on my water chemistry? Or will I need to start looking into dosing sooner than later? I'm also considering switching to a different LFS. There are 2 other well regarded stores close by, one uses Kent marine and the other uses red sea.

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Bamzam

Decided to go with the LFS that uses Kent marine since I've read their cal/alkaline is pretty high. Did a 15% ish water change again today with the new water to have a higher starting point. Cal is now 420 and alkalinity is 7.3. Put 0.5 teaspoon per gallon in my ato. Will test throughout the week to see if my water stays at these levels.

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Bamzam

Haven't posted any progress pics in a while, so just added one to the original post. A lot has changed...a bunch of new coral mostly. My A/C went out during the Summer and I lost one of the clowns. The one that survived has been alone for a while, so I'm looking to add a 2nd smaller clown as soon as I can find the right size/type. Upgraded my lighting to 2 AI Prime HD's. The tank has an awesome shimmer effect now that it didn't have with the Current USA led.

 

I've been buying saltwater from a LFS for the past 6 months. I finally got a RO/DI and a bucket of Aquaforest reef salt, so i'll be making my own water starting next week. I've been doing 2 gallon water changes twice a week for the past 6 months. I stopped testing my water after about the 2nd month since I was sure the water changes were replenishing the nutrients, so I have no idea what rate my coral is consuming calcium/alk. Now that I'm going to be making my own water, I'm going to start testing again and see if I need to look into dosing. Hopefully this will bring my tank a lot more stability.

 

Also, I just ordered some red gel filters so I can take better cell phone pics. Will post some close ups of the coral this week.

 

Any criticism/advice is welcome! Thanks!

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WV Reefer

I like it! :)

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xilez

Solid setup! I have similar tank as well :D

 

How have you liked the AI lights? I am currently searching for an upgrade from my Orbit Marine.... I was thinking of just going with the Pro version, but havn't considered the AI lights.

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Bamzam

I love them. There's a lot more control over the spectrum than my orbit marine, but you'd get the same with the pro. It's a much stronger light so I'm hoping to get some more color out of my coral. Some pros/cons IMO vs the orbit:

 

Pros:

-The shimmer effect is awesome

-I haven't used the pro, but there is way more control over the schedule and ramp time than my orbit marine. WiFi is a bonus so I could use my phone instead of the separate remote.

-A lot more room to operate above my tank.

 

Cons:

-The only con I can think of is the shadows. I actually don't mind it though and think it looks a lot more natural. But, with my rock set up, the tall structure on the left creates a big shadow area on the very left side that some may not want in their tank.

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