colinlevy

Colin's First Nano Build (and SW) - Fluval Spec V

31 posts in this topic

Been a long time coming, but finally decided to make the jump from FW to SW, and why not make life hard on myself and get a nano.

 

Going to continue to update the status of my new build in this thread. Hopefully I can learn some things from you all. If you see something wrong, or I say something stupid, please let me know. I only can gain knowledge from knowing. 

 

Let's start with the hard facts first...

Tank: Fluval Spec V (modded to cover up bottom slit leading into filtration section)

Pump: Aqueon AQ600 159gph

Filtration: Fluval Spec Media Basket (floss/chemipure elite/purigen)

Heater: Hydor 50W Heater

Circulation: Hydor Koralia 240 (not sure if necessary, the AQ600 seems to really move water)

Light: Current USA Orbit Marine 18-24" LED Light

 

Here is the tank in all its glory after the slight modification (probably should of found some black putty/epoxy...kind of an eye sore)

yvaQQKx.jpg

 

The rocks I had to work with. Ordered 2-3 pounds of a few different types from BRS to give me options

N8TEtaA.jpg

 

The Fluval Spec Media Basket with a thing of floss for the tank cycle. I am impressed in the quality of this product. It was a little pricey, but I heard nothing good about the stock block of filter...if you call it that.

Qi3LuyT.jpg

 

Everything setup in the compartments. Had a lot of issues with the surface skimmer, but I FINALLY got it working after I took some section of it off.

XdenwPb.jpg

 

Needed somewhere to put all my supplies, so had to take over our utility/cleaning closet. 

N55v8s4.jpg

 

Put in the sand, rocks, and water last night and went to bed. Woke up this morning to it getting a little more clear. I need to figure out where to adjust the pump nozzle so it stops blowing all the sand in piles (see bottom left...it also dug up all the sand behind one of the rocks)

QM85obm.jpg

 

Noticed all these pockets of air beneath the sand bed. Is that normal?

iii4YK6.jpg

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:welcome: 

 

Looks good! The sand was just added, so the air pockets/bubbles are normal. If you have any specific questions, feel free to PM!

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to the community @colinlevy! It looks like you're off to a great start!

 

What material did you use to plug the lower filtration inlet?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone!

 

@RIP SebastianI will just let the air bubbles be then. Do you think I should add more sand? I bought a 10lb bag of live sand and it recommended 1Ib per gallon of water...which would be half the bag. I have used almost 3/4 of the bag and only have about an inch of sand bed. Seems like most people have 1-2" of substrate. 

 

@Christopher Marks I used WaterWeld gel by JB. I didn't want to have to wait to get some shipped made specifically for this purpose and found a couple threads online of people using this in their tank and said it was safe. Was rock solid shut when I added water last night. So just picked it up from Home Depot for $5.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Was almost midnight when I finished last night, so decided to let it clear up a little overnight and start kick starting the cycle this morning (consider today day 1).

 

Using Dr. Tim's One and Only as well as the Ammonium Chloride. I am following the fish-less cycling schedule they recommend on their website (http://www.drtimsaquatics.com/resources/fishless-cycling).

 

Added 2.0 ppm of ammonia as well as the recommended dosage of One and Only and going to let it be till tomorrow. pH tested at 7.9 and salinity of 1.025 with a water temperature of 79 degrees.

 

Read a lot of mixed opinions on using the light for cycling, but decided I am going to keep it on a short cycle, so not on too long.

THxBiCN.jpg

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, colinlevy said:

Thanks everyone!

 

@RIP SebastianI will just let the air bubbles be then. Do you think I should add more sand? I bought a 10lb bag of live sand and it recommended 1Ib per gallon of water...which would be half the bag. I have used almost 3/4 of the bag and only have about an inch of sand bed. Seems like most people have 1-2" of substrate. 

 

@Christopher Marks I used WaterWeld gel by JB. I didn't want to have to wait to get some shipped made specifically for this purpose and found a couple threads online of people using this in their tank and said it was safe. Was rock solid shut when I added water last night. So just picked it up from Home Depot for $5.

Well, it really depends on what you want in terms of livestock. If you're interested in a shrimp/goby pair, go ahead and add it. Just drain the tank most of the way, add it, and refill. :)

 

If not, then don't worry about it. The sand bed is a source for microfauna and bacteria to live as well as a home for some fish or invertebrates.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, RIP Sebastian said:

Well, it really depends on what you want in terms of livestock. If you're interested in a shrimp/goby pair, go ahead and add it. Just drain the tank most of the way, add it, and refill. :)

 

If not, then don't worry about it. The sand bed is a source for microfauna and bacteria to live as well as a home for some fish or invertebrates.

 

I don't mind draining most of the water to put some more sand in (which I will probably do because I would like to have shrimp), but is that just to make it easier on me or does that have to do with the cycle?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, colinlevy said:

 

I don't mind draining most of the water to put some more sand in (which I will probably do because I would like to have shrimp), but is that just to make it easier on me or does that have to do with the cycle?

It just makes it easier for you. That way, the majority of the sand can settle instead floating around. Some of it still will.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Following. Will be starting my first build in the next couple of weeks so it will be cool seeing yours develop as well

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@RIP Sebastian

 

Cycle is going pretty well. Ammonia has been about 2ppm the first few days and on day 3 I started getting about 0.25 of nitrite. 

 

I haven't done anything different with the tank besides getting a mag-float to clean the streaks on the inside. 

 

Tonight I noticed quite a bit of particles floating around the top of the tank (thought it was sand at first but much finer than sand). The skimmer was pulling some in but didn't seem to ever reduce the amount (waited a few hours). While using the mag-float I noticed it was kicking some of it up, so then I thought maybe the mag float was dirty when I put it in the tank....nope. I kind of gave up and I got my turkey bastor out to blow some of the sand off the rocks (done this a few times already just to keep it clean) but this time it started really throwing particles EVERYWHERE, to the point the tank looked like I just started a leaf blower in the tank. These particles weren't here last time I cleaned the sand off the rocks. It was EVERYWHERE and was definitely coming off the rocks.

 

Either way it doesn't seem like the skimmer will get everything and just swirling it around, so not sure what else to do. Maybe it will go away in a few days. 

 

 

---

 

@SaltyBuddha

 

Thanks for the follow! This is all brand new to me so probably won't be of too much help! 

 

Most of this is trial and error (hopefully not much error...for the fishes sake!) 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is dust on dry rock.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's what I figured, just was under the impression I got it all off before putting it in the tank and didn't see any of it the first 3 days of cycling

 

 

----

Day 4:

 

Woke up and tested the parameters of the cylce. Ammonia still has been steady at 2-3 ppm for the last couple days, but the nitrite seems to be rising slightly to 0.50 from 0.25 yesterday. If the ammonia drops below 1 ppm tomorrow morning I will add some more Dr. Tim's Ammonium Chloride. Still going to wait a few days to test nitrate. 

 

pH of 7.8, salinity of 1.025, and water temp between 79-80.2

 

The particles that stated appearing on the surface about 18 hours ago are still swirling up there. Thought maybe I would try to add some more current in the tank so I put in my Hydor Koralia 240 to help. Going to let it run for the rest of the day and see how it is.

 

2Llr9jd.jpg

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@RIP Sebastian

 

Well I'm hoping you don't have too know my errors but I'll be here to learn from them with you! Mine will be behind yours by a couple of weeks so it's perfect for me :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/17/2017 at 10:56 AM, colinlevy said:

Was almost midnight when I finished last night, so decided to let it clear up a little overnight and start kick starting the cycle this morning (consider today day 1).

 

Using Dr. Tim's One and Only as well as the Ammonium Chloride. I am following the fish-less cycling schedule they recommend on their website (http://www.drtimsaquatics.com/resources/fishless-cycling).

 

Added 2.0 ppm of ammonia as well as the recommended dosage of One and Only and going to let it be till tomorrow. pH tested at 7.9 and salinity of 1.025 with a water temperature of 79 degrees.

 

Read a lot of mixed opinions on using the light for cycling, but decided I am going to keep it on a short cycle, so not on too long.

THxBiCN.jpg

Great looking scape....nice job on all the research......makes me want a little tank!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, jack1978 said:

Great looking scape....nice job on all the research......makes me want a little tank!

 

Thanks for the words. I wish I could take credit for the scape. I just bought and cleaned them. The girlfriend came up with that setup.

 

 

 

----

 

Day 5

 

Not much new on the cycle. The ammonia still is at 2 ppm, but nitrite is up to 1 (maybe a 1.5), so it's rising a bit every day. Just waited for the ammonia to drop some.

 

Took some of my water to the LFS just to be sure I was getting good readings, and ours matched, so I am happy with my API Saltwater Test Kit. It's not great, hard to differentiate the color chart, but it's bearable for the price.

 

Still having a little trouble with my skimmer. I have it on the lowest setting, and after a day of evaporation it seems like it barely skims again until I topoff some. I even have the tank level pretty high. Not sure what else to do here. I work out of town so there are days I am not home to top off. Guess I will have to look into a ATO unit for my little nano tank.

 

Also ended up taking out the Hydor Koralia 240 (for now). It just seemed like that on top of the upgraded AQ600 tank pump, the water movement was just a bit much, was blowing sand everywhere. I adjusted the 240 probably 25 times, and every place it was pointed it would blow up the sand so much there would be huge holes on the bed. Maybe I will try it again later on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The tank and scape look great! Following along.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DAY 9

 

Came home from my work trip (work out of town 3-4 days a week...don't worry, the girlfriend is in charge of the nano when I am away) and was pleased to see while I was gone, nitrates have appeared, and are increasing while my ammonia is starting to go down.

 

Also arrived home to find my new shelf had arrived...needed to get my tank off the dining room table. We put the shelf together, leveled it, bracketed it to the wall, and CAREFULLY moved the full tank across the room to the shelf. Surprisingly, it made it with zero water spills and minimal flying debris. 

 

Here it is in all its glory. Just the perfect size. Has 2 lower cabinets, 1 for hiding the cords and the other for miscellaneous every day items (API tests, food, cleaning material, etc). Still trying to figure out the best way to keep the cords contained

cglO7xk.jpg

 

 

Also decided to transfer my tank levels to a excel file just to keep better track of it. Hope to turn it into some kind of graph here soon.

y4Kpltk.jpg

 

 

Hoping that my cycle is nearing an end. I was trying to follow the cycle guide on Dr. Tim's website (as I was cycling using his products), but the levels are nowhere near what he states. His guide stated that the first week ammonia AND nitrite would fall back below 1 and I would re-add ammonia to 2 ppm...but after 9 days the nitrite is still climbing while ammonia dropped to 0 today. Not sure if that's fine.

 

Also still stuck with this weird white tiny flaky looking substance floating around on the top of my water. No matter where I adjust my pump outflow or how I adjust my skimmer, it just wont go away. Just keeps floating around. It's so small that you can only see it when the tank light is on and the room lights are off.

 

Anyways...

 

pH 7.8, salinity 1.025, and a temperature of 80.1 degrees.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Following. Nice looking scape something like I am wanting to do with mine. I texted my girlfriend that I needed her creativeness to help with that she laughed. Unfortunately currently she is living a few hours away for work. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DAY 11

 

I am a little confused and need a little assistance on my cycle, make sure I am headed in the right direction and don't need to do anything else.

 

At first using Dr. Tim's products (Ammonium Chloride and One and Only) I had my mind set on following their guide to the t, which pretty much wanted you to wait until the ammonia and nitrite got below 1.0 then keep dosing ammonia back to 2.0 until after 24 hours you would have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and only nitrates.

 

I realized that I can't follow their guide to the t because every tank is different, and every tank will cycle a little differently. Some quicker, some slower.

 

Below I will post my daily cycle log until today (day 11) for reference. Where there is a check mark, I added Dr. Tim's ammonia back up to 2 ppm (thought I read somewhere you don't want to starve the bacteria by keeping no ammonia...maybe?). 

 

Please take a look at it and tell me if there is something I should be doing, maybe a water change, maybe something else. But as of day 12, I can dose 2 ppm ammonia but it will not drop to 0 in 24 hours, and my nitrites are still off the charts, and today (day 11) my nitrates spiked to 50 (which i think is a good thing).

 

1. So with my nitrate spike, should I do a PWC to get them back down?

2. Will the nitrite go down on its own?

3. Should I keep dosing ammonia when it gets back down to 0 or is that why my nitrites are so high and not going down, I keep adding ammonia?

 

PxMMMB0.jpg

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

High nitrates is a good thing for your cycle progression. If it were me, I'd stop dosing ammonia and do a partial water change. The partial water change isn't going to harm the beneficial bacteria working through the cycle. Then wait a few more days and test your water to see if your ammonia and nitrites are at zero with another rise in nitrates.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What Chris said! Exciting, isn't it?

 

Also, it's so nice to see people on here that have done research like you have.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Getting close to cycling. Like it was mentioned above a partial water change will remove some of the nitrates just keep watching to ensure the ammonia and nitrites are being converted eventually to nitrates and if they zero out then you may be cycled and ready for a small CUC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

following! I'm in the R&D phases of getting into a nano saltwater setup (after I don't know how many years in FW) and looking at this tank and general setup. Thanks for the info.

 

PS what are you hoping to stock once you are cycled and ready?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, rosies4posie said:

following! I'm in the R&D phases of getting into a nano saltwater setup (after I don't know how many years in FW) and looking at this tank and general setup. Thanks for the info.

 

PS what are you hoping to stock once you are cycled and ready?

 

Thanks for following! I had a long R&D phase. Didn't want to mess anything up. 

 

I honestly don't know what I am going to stock in the nano yet. That's kind of where I am now. Currently researching a CUC initially, then will focus on fish maybe in a month or so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, colinlevy said:

 

Thanks for following! I had a long R&D phase. Didn't want to mess anything up. 

 

I honestly don't know what I am going to stock in the nano yet. That's kind of where I am now. Currently researching a CUC initially, then will focus on fish maybe in a month or so.

Awesome, my tank I plan to have a small clown, with a candy cane shrimp and YWG in my tank. I was looking at an emerald crab as well but would need more research if I was to go down that route. 

 

I am still a ways away from fish and even a cuc but already excited to get there!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now