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Lisa166

16g on dormrooms: new frags!

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Hello all, 

This is going to be my very first reef tank ever. I do have a lot of experience with freshwater, but a reeftank is completely new for me! 

 

I am studying and living in the Netherlands, so I have a fairly tight budget. But I managed to get my hands on a Dennerle marinus cube, 60L (12g). 

I have a intern filter and heater, and a machine to make RO water. Salt is bought and on its way. 

 

I am planning on filling the tank this week, and adding live rock next week! 

 

Any tips are welcome. 

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:welcome:

 

What is your source for live rock?

 

My tip is to read Member's Tank Threads and learn from those, and don't be afraid to ask questions. 

 

Also, why are you in the Netherlands and not meeeeeee??? omgomgomg

I'll get there eventually....

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Thank you for your reaction Weetabix!

I did not expect a reaction, I also do not understand why you would want to be in the Netherlands!

 

I have read and researched a lot! As far as I know there are only two kinds of live rock? Artifical, with bacteria but no organisms, and the real kind, with bacteria and organisms. I plan to get the real one, since I want to see all the organisms coming out and actually see that tank cycling! 

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Welcome to wonderful world of nano-reefin!!!!

 

First of all, if you want to save some money, you don't need to buy expensive live rock!  Just buy dry reef rock and you can still cycle in many different ways!  I actually prefer not using live rock because it introduces bad stuff like algae, worms, and other things you do not want in aquarium!  Also if you are using dry rock, its way more fun because you can smash them and re-glue it to make it just way you want, outside of tank and water!  And did i mention its much much much cheaper???? 

 

Just wondering, what kind of filter is it?  Like dividers on the backside?

 

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On 9-3-2017 at 11:07 AM, oogie said:

Welcome to wonderful world of nano-reefin!!!!

 

First of all, if you want to save some money, you don't need to buy expensive live rock!  Just buy dry reef rock and you can still cycle in many different ways!  I actually prefer not using live rock because it introduces bad stuff like algae, worms, and other things you do not want in aquarium!  Also if you are using dry rock, its way more fun because you can smash them and re-glue it to make it just way you want, outside of tank and water!  And did i mention its much much much cheaper???? 

 

Just wondering, what kind of filter is it?  Like dividers on the backside?

 

Unfortunately it is not a filter with seperate chambers. It came with the tank and its a Dennerle biofilter 4 in 1. I will add a picture.
I thought (after alllll the reading), that live rock  was best (I would, ofcourse, let my tank cycle long enough before adding anything else). If I do not use live rock, how will I get my tank up and running? How do I add the neccessary bacteria?

 

This is the biofilter, it uses surface skimming and (at the right side) has a filtersponge, which they advice to leave off once you have a cleaning crew in your tank. It also serves as a powerhead (is that the correct word?). 

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It is important to add that I think it would be fascinating to see all the little organisms and cycling of the tank, which you will only get with live rock.
 

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just fyi www.aquadepot-europe.com is based in Netherlands and they have amazing  clearance deals on some things that might be worth a look for you.

buy a few kilos of live rock if you can afford it, and put it with dry reef rock.  I'm also running a 60l denerle cube right now with an internal filter and 9w led.  Despite breaking all the rules of cycling and much of what you'll be advised I added a goby, 2x clowns, 2 cleaner shrimp, button polyps, and a xenia coral on the day I filled the tank with live sand and live rock and water and all have survived and are happy.  The button polyps have already doubled and it's only been going for about 7 weeks. My snails have laid eggs, new sponges are growing on my live rock, as well as lots of other little critters.  I don't say that to tempt fate or tell you follow my bad example...BUT if you listened to everything people advise, you might think my tank would explode for such a transgression.  It can be as complicated or uncomplicated as you like.  Just stick with frequent water changes and you'll be doing fine.

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19 hours ago, Rev_Svejk said:

just fyi www.aquadepot-europe.com is based in Netherlands and they have amazing  clearance deals on some things that might be worth a look for you.

buy a few kilos of live rock if you can afford it, and put it with dry reef rock.  I'm also running a 60l denerle cube right now with an internal filter and 9w led.  Despite breaking all the rules of cycling and much of what you'll be advised I added a goby, 2x clowns, 2 cleaner shrimp, button polyps, and a xenia coral on the day I filled the tank with live sand and live rock and water and all have survived and are happy.  The button polyps have already doubled and it's only been going for about 7 weeks. My snails have laid eggs, new sponges are growing on my live rock, as well as lots of other little critters.  I don't say that to tempt fate or tell you follow my bad example...BUT if you listened to everything people advise, you might think my tank would explode for such a transgression.  It can be as complicated or uncomplicated as you like.  Just stick with frequent water changes and you'll be doing fine.

Can I ask how often you do water changes? And how much? 

 

Due to exams next week I cannot get my live rock at all untill Friday. But once I get  it I will post some proper pictures :)

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19 hours ago, Lisa166 said:

It is important to add that I think it would be fascinating to see all the little organisms and cycling of the tank, which you will only get with live rock.
 

 

I agree with you on this, I have always LOVED doing this with Live Rock. 

I have always wanted to do a small nano or pico tank that was set up with the freshest Live Rock I could get my hands on and just make the life that pops out of the rock the whole focus of it. 

I have a friend who did that once with some neat results, you can check it out on his thread here if you like: 

 

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I change about 10liters of water every weekend.  A few times I've done up to 20l, when I let it go a few more days. (this is on a 60liter cube)

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Posted (edited)

Thank you for all the advice! 

The thanks has now been filled with 30 l of salt water. The filter is running and so is the heater. I want to keep it this way untill I get the live rock (possibly mixed with dry reef rock). Then i can see how much more water is needed to fill the tank up completely. 

 

The light isn't attached yet, as I am still getting everything fixed and I do not want to have to take it off the tank a few times a day. 

 

 

 

Edited by Lisa166
deleting pictures to get more space
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We got our live rock! It is really pretty, and has loads of macroalgae. 

 

I still have to make a pretty scape and add the rest of the water. But I am mainly in doubt what to do with my little hitchhiker crab. He keeps getting out of the water. We made the skimmer crab safe by putting a net over it. But I am really unsure what to do with him (keeping, getting rid of him (asap, or try to return it to the store in 8 weeks when i go to get the cuc). 

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That rock looks AMAZING, where did you end up getting it from?

Are you doing a soft cycle with it?

 

I'm wondering if he might be some kind of fiddler crab, but really not sure. 

 

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@Weetabix7 thanks for replying so much! It came from Coral and fishstore at Breda. They were really nice too. 

 

My brother helped me make a pretty scape yesterday, I hope to upload pictures tomorrow when I have my laptop around. 

 

The fiddler crab managed to escape the tank, but luckily we found him in time and he now has a temporary home in the box i used for transferring the live rock. We added some salt water, some algae from the tank and some sand I already had lying around to add to the tank after cycling. 

 

I gave him some salmon just now and he is eating!!

IMG-20170319-WA0028.jpeg

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You're welcome! :happy:

 

You are very fortunate to have access to that kind of Live Rock from a local aquarium store, most of us in the states have to order it online to be able to get it. 

It is very, very nice. 

I would suggest looking up how to soft-cycle, to try to preserve as much of the life on the rock as possible. 

 

That was great thinking with the fiddler crab!!

Do you plan to keep him, or try to return him to the ocean?

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@Weetabix7

Soft cycling sounds awesome. Especially since the rock is so pretty and full of life! 

However, it seems to be pretty expensive. Do you know how long it would take to soft cycle a tank? 

I mean, I do not mind some work, but having to change 10% daily will be quite expensive as well as the fact that i will run out of my ammonium tests within 40 days (that is, if i test once a day. I know more is recommended, but simply not doable costwise). So would there be any chance of even being able to soft cycle? 

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The last time I got nice rock like yours (which I went to a lot of trouble to get), I soft cycled. 

It's been a few years, but I believe what I did was do a 50% water change once a day for the first 5 days.

I also cycled the rock in a small container, I believe it was a 5.5 gallon tank. This meant that a 50% water change was much smaller. 

After the first 5 days or so, I scaled way back on the water changes, maybe once a week for a couple of weeks. 

 

Much of what makes that rock so special will die off if you don't do this. Maybe around 1/4 to 1/3 of what you see on there now will live. However, some (not all) of it will grow back a few months down the road. The more sensitive life forms will be the first to die and likely will not come back. 

 

As for testing daily for ammonia, that is fairly typical for the first month of cycling a tank, regardless of how you cycle it. 

 

Best wishes!!

 

 

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Spoiler

 

Welcome to NR this is a fun hobby and the members here will do their best help you. Thanks for posting pictures we love pictures.

The good news is once your tank has cycled you will test ammonia less then almost never. So using it a lot in the beginning is fine. 50% water change for 5 to 7 days then just every 4 or 5 days for a couple weeks then 1 a week for a few then you can go to 20% a week. This is only if you want the life on the rock.. I think you do from your posts. There are so many different ways to cycle a tank and to maintain it after. Reading threads of members tanks and taking what you want from each is fine. Every tank is different and what worked for one tank may not work in another. Most member will try to recommend what has worked in MANY tanks not just the different one or two.  

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Thank you both! I indeed would love to have as much life on there as possible.
However, the rock went in Friday, and since I never heard about soft cycling and everyone said to either: do changes of 10% once a week, or do changes of 10% starting after 8 weeks... Well, you can imagine I never did it before now. So the ammonia, of course, is through the roof. I have filtered the water by taking it out and pouring it  back through a small net. I don't have any water available to do an emergency cleaning at this moment. But I am making it as we speak, so tomorrow I will be able to change 50% (in two goes, with a couple of hours in between).
And then I can keep that up for the coming week. Hope that that will, at least, safe some of the beautiful creatures on the rock.

 

Meanwhile, Houdini (yes, the crab has a name now) is doing well! He is running around happily and I am trying to get a cheap tank somewhere to put him in. Suggestion of the store we got the rock from was only to get him out of the tank. But we already did that and I cannot get myself to kill the little one. He is feeding happily on some dried salmon right now as well. I will try to get some more buckets to help with the water changes as well. I currently only have one, since Houdini is living in the coolbox.

 

Ps/ I love pictures too! And thank you for all the help! It is really appreciated. It is weird how I have been researching for months, everywhere, and I never read anything about soft cycling, or the possibility of a non/semi-aquatic crab to come with the live rock. I read all about cycling, and all about different organisms that could hitchhike with the rock. But never heard about these two.

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A lot of people now use dry rock and additives to start a tank to avoid some of the nasty's - algae and unwanted hitch hikers this was not the case years ago. My 1st salt water tank had an under gravel filter and all white dead coral skeleton. Live rock was not used by many that I know of yet. My LFS at the time was not using it yet. I remember when he got in the first batch of live rock we all thought that green hair algae was the coolest thing ever! 

  

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7 minutes ago, debbeach13 said:

A lot of people now use dry rock and additives to start a tank to avoid some of the nasty's - algae and unwanted hitch hikers this was not the case years ago. My 1st salt water tank had an under gravel filter and all white dead coral skeleton. Live rock was not used by many that I know of yet. My LFS at the time was not using it yet. I remember when he got in the first batch of live rock we all thought that green hair algae was the coolest thing ever! 

  

Do you think there is any chance I can still make a soft cycle work?
My ammonia is now at 5...
I deleted 15 l (3 gal) of the total  (60l) 12 gal. All the live rock is still submerged now.


I am making 15 l of salt water now, and can use that once it is on the right temperature. 
I can make another 15 l tonight and use that as well.

 

I guess doing another total of 30 l tomorrow, and then I should be able to see a drop in ammonia right? And go from there then?

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What ever water changes you can do should save some of the life that is left. Some die off already happened but some of that may come back. Even if you just let it cycle the way you had first read about some life will remain or come back nature finds a way. 

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1 minute ago, debbeach13 said:

What ever water changes you can do should save some of the life that is left. Some die off already happened but some of that may come back. Even if you just let it cycle the way you had first read about some life will remain or come back nature finds a way. 

Thank you, I will do whatever I can to make it work!

 

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Debbeach13 is giving you some good advice. 

I love your enthusiasm, it's nice to see someone willing to do the work to get the good results. 

There are all kinds of things you'll learn from this, and many things you will experience that you haven't learned about through previous research. 

I've been doing this for many years, and that still happens to me too!!

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TOmorrow I will mostly be busy with school, yeah, I have been spending a little too much time on my tank! So for now only a small update on the soft cycling idea and Houdini, the crab. I hope to post some proper pictures on thursday.

 

I got some proper cycled water from a reef store nearby, and did a 100% water change with that. Ammonia was at 5 ppm before the change, but came back to 0.5 an hour after that! In the evening i did another small change, about 10%. Will measure ammonia again tomorrow and act according to that. 

 

Houdini got a new home! Someone helped me get a cheap second-hand tank, which I will fill with coral sand and some water tomorrow. He is still feeding on the salmon (changed it for a new bit yesterday though!), and once he gets to his new tank tomorrow I will start feeding him algae tablets, as well as some fish/shrimp once in a while. 

 

 

IMG-20170321-WA0019.jpeg

 

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