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Madcat's Fluval Evo 13.5 - new fish store pics

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Madcat   
18 minutes ago, GregEmmitte said:

Nitrates should be less than 10ppm but not 0. You need a minimal amount. 

You really need temps below 80

Also, why is it so hot? I live in Houston Texas and it's 99 degrees outside and 70 inside lol

I have no idea!! There's no way the room itself is 81 degrees and I don't have the tank lights on (and even when I've left them on, they don't seem to affect the temp). I mean, it's REALLY hot outside, but we have AC, for goodness' sake. I'm totally stumped.

 

I had been hoping to get livestock tomorrow, but instead I think I'll get a fan and some more distilled water and I'll do a 50% WC. I don't think my nitrate test is completely accurate, but either way, 50% should do the job. Then assuming my tank gets it together and I'm at 78-79* and <10ppm, hopefully add a couple hermits and snails on Thurs. Man, I did not know I was capable of this much patience when I started this, lol.

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Lugmos12   

I have the same tank and my temp has been around 80-81. i place a fan on top of the sum and the temp has been stable around 77-78

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11 hours ago, Madcat said:

The biggest fluctuation I've noticed (with the heater not plugged in) has been about 80.1-81.7. It hasn't gotten any warmer than that. Is that an okay temp if I add hermits and snails? - just in case. Hopefully adding a clip-on fan will get me more in the neighbourhood of 78.

 

Planned livestock are some soft corals, maybe a couple LPS. 1-2 clownfish and a citron goby. I'm leaning towards a single clown right now. If I get only one, I might also keep an eye out for a tailspot blenny or a green banded goby. Would LOVE a GBG but I've never seen one at any of the LFS near me.

 

If you're sitting around 80-82, that should be okay IMO as long as it's just during the summer time. I would have no concerns adding critters in at those temps. The biggest killer is temperature fluctuations as they have the potential to just wreak havoc on tanks.

 

Leaving the heater plugged in should not affect your temperatures in the sense that it only turns on to heat it up when it falls below threshold. 

 

Again, continue to monitor your fluctuations and you're golden.

 

11 hours ago, GregEmmitte said:

Nitrates should be less than 10ppm but not 0. You need a minimal amount. 

You really need temps below 80

Also, why is it so hot? I live in Houston Texas and it's 99 degrees outside and 70 inside lol

Depends on different things. Some places have central AC, some have their tanks below ground, some have their tanks away from direct sunlight, some houses naturally collect more heat based on which direction their house is facing, etc.

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Madcat   

Tested nitrates again and:

 

IMG_5135.thumb.JPG.ba3c7d21fd98e8aeee4b218604cb494e.JPG

 

<10ppm? No?

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If your ammonia and nitrites are showing as 0, do another water change today and add critters tomorrow.

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Madcat   
5 hours ago, Nomoreammo said:

If your ammonia and nitrites are showing as 0, do another water change today and add critters tomorrow.

Awesome.

 

I attached a clip on fan today and just have it running over the filter chambers. When I checked earlier, the tank was 78.3. Perfect. Now it's 76.6! Stop!! Time to plug the heater back in and start fiddling... We'll see if I can reach a steady temp by tomorrow.

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Lula_Mae   
On 7/18/2017 at 5:07 PM, Nomoreammo said:

We are going through a summer heat wave in Alberta right now. Tanks are getting as high as 85F so if you want to keep it cooler, just aim a clip-on fan at the top of the water for surface agitation and keep up with topping off any evaporation so your salinity stays stable. Ambient temperatures in summer rarely go below 78 so you often need to intervene manually unless you have a chiller.

 

Also, if your nitrates are still high, just do another water change. Don't dose anymore ammonia. Your tank is ready for some underwater friends.

 

Nitrate should be ideally 0, but having up to 10ppm isn't a game changer. Some inverts and corals are more sensitive but you can add fish at this point. Feed it and it will poop to keep the bacteria happy. Don't tinker too much chemically with the tank. You use Prime mainly for de-chlorinating your tap water. 

 

Just for clarification, why are you testing LFS water? Are you purchasing pre-mixed water from them vs mixing your own?

 

On another note, you might have too much rock. Aquascape is subjective but you may find yourself running out of room pretty quickly. Does your scraper have enough rock clearance when cleaning?

Actually, a little bit of nitrates is not a bad thing.  Having the tank too clean can actually be worse than having a small amount of nitrates in there.  And no one with a reef tank should be using tap water, period, unless theirs is exceptionally clean.  Some people use Prime to neutralize ammonia in salt water, especially in emergency situations.  Testing LFS water is always a good idea because sometimes they are lax on changing the filters in their RO/DI, or they mix up the salt water to the wrong salinity (i.e. too much or too little salt). :)

 

On 7/18/2017 at 11:25 PM, GregEmmitte said:

Nitrates should be less than 10ppm but not 0. You need a minimal amount. 

You really need temps below 80

Also, why is it so hot? I live in Houston Texas and it's 99 degrees outside and 70 inside lol

Some people do run their tanks at 80-81 but that gives less room for things like heater malfunctions.  Some places up north don't even have a/c. :huh: But in this case I think the hood is trapping a lot of heat.

 

On 7/18/2017 at 11:53 PM, Madcat said:

I have no idea!! There's no way the room itself is 81 degrees and I don't have the tank lights on (and even when I've left them on, they don't seem to affect the temp). I mean, it's REALLY hot outside, but we have AC, for goodness' sake. I'm totally stumped.

 

I had been hoping to get livestock tomorrow, but instead I think I'll get a fan and some more distilled water and I'll do a 50% WC. I don't think my nitrate test is completely accurate, but either way, 50% should do the job. Then assuming my tank gets it together and I'm at 78-79* and <10ppm, hopefully add a couple hermits and snails on Thurs. Man, I did not know I was capable of this much patience when I started this, lol.

You should be fine to add a couple small things.  Heck, I don't even test anymore lol. 

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4 hours ago, Lula_Mae said:

Actually, a little bit of nitrates is not a bad thing.  Having the tank too clean can actually be worse than having a small amount of nitrates in there.  And no one with a reef tank should be using tap water, period, unless theirs is exceptionally clean.  Some people use Prime to neutralize ammonia in salt water, especially in emergency situations.  Testing LFS water is always a good idea because sometimes they are lax on changing the filters in their RO/DI, or they mix up the salt water to the wrong salinity (i.e. too much or too little salt). :)

 

 

Yes, I agree that having trace amounts of nitrates are not bad but in the context of OP starting a new tank, leaving nitrates are not necessary. One does not need to be dosing Prime when cycling a tank and as such, an emergency situation is a moot point at this time. This is why I say that having up to 10ppm nitrates is still acceptable to add livestock. The point is that his tank should not have any ammonia or nitrite readings. 

 

If OP does a final (smaller) water change, his test kit will likely show 0ppm as an indicator that his tank has either low or undetectable levels of nitrate following his cycle.

 

This is contextual advice as OP is wondering if it's okay to add livestock. Whether he adds them with 0ppm or 10ppm nitrates is really no big deal, but I prefer to have them close to undetectable to begin with so perhaps semantically, it doesn't have to be ideal.

 

 

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Madcat   
2 hours ago, Nomoreammo said:

 

Yes, I agree that having trace amounts of nitrates are not bad but in the context of OP starting a new tank, leaving nitrates are not necessary. One does not need to be dosing Prime when cycling a tank and as such, an emergency situation is a moot point at this time. This is why I say that having up to 10ppm nitrates is still acceptable to add livestock. The point is that his tank should not have any ammonia or nitrite readings. 

 

If OP does a final (smaller) water change, his test kit will likely show 0ppm as an indicator that his tank has either low or undetectable levels of nitrate following his cycle.

 

This is contextual advice as OP is wondering if it's okay to add livestock. Whether he adds them with 0ppm or 10ppm nitrates is really no big deal, but I prefer to have them close to undetectable to begin with so perhaps semantically, it doesn't have to be ideal.

 

 

I'm a girl. :)

 

AND A MOTHER! This is the happiest day of my life.

 

IMG_5163.thumb.JPG.fbf13612a4a8d722178b29f04448fb51.JPG

 

IMG_5169.thumb.JPG.2c6da481a331b42712f9093da9df222d.JPG

 

2 Nassarius and 2 scarlet reef crabs! The LFS girl told me she acclimates these guys by shaking the water off them and dropping them in. I did a little more acclimating than that, lol.

 

I hope there's stuff in there to eat. Godspeed, little critters. Maybe I'll drop a couple pellets in.

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2 minutes ago, Madcat said:

I'm a girl. :)

 

AND A MOTHER! This is the happiest day of my life.

 

IMG_5163.thumb.JPG.fbf13612a4a8d722178b29f04448fb51.JPG

 

IMG_5169.thumb.JPG.2c6da481a331b42712f9093da9df222d.JPG

 

2 Nassarius and 2 scarlet reef crabs! The LFS girl told me she acclimates these guys by shaking the water off them and dropping them in. I did a little more acclimating than that, lol.

 

I figured you might be a girl lol. I changed my post to say "OP" instead of he/she but missed one :) \

 

I love scarlet legged hermits. I find them scaling the plastic wall frequently after lights are turned off.

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Lula_Mae   
1 hour ago, Madcat said:

I'm a girl. :)

 

AND A MOTHER! This is the happiest day of my life.

 

IMG_5163.thumb.JPG.fbf13612a4a8d722178b29f04448fb51.JPG

 

IMG_5169.thumb.JPG.2c6da481a331b42712f9093da9df222d.JPG

 

2 Nassarius and 2 scarlet reef crabs! The LFS girl told me she acclimates these guys by shaking the water off them and dropping them in. I did a little more acclimating than that, lol.

 

I hope there's stuff in there to eat. Godspeed, little critters. Maybe I'll drop a couple pellets in.

:lol: Congrats on the new additions to the family lol

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I added livestock with pretty high nitrates and everything turned out fine, my gramma was healthy as a horse until he jumped. My first zoas seemed to tolerate high nitrates and insane phosphates and opened up within 10 minutes of adding them to my system. Of course long term you'll want to lower them which I have done but I'd recommend not chasing numbers and just try to maintain stability, as long as everything is healthy and growing you're fine. Of course I'm a newbie as well so this is just in my brief experience so take it with a grain of salt :). Also I'd recommend getting those hermits some spare shells ASAP or they'll be commiting snail murders, my blue leg seemed to have a fondness for nassarius in particular when it was smaller.

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Madcat   
16 minutes ago, jesseatam said:

I added livestock with pretty high nitrates and everything turned out fine, my gramma was healthy as a horse until he jumped. My first zoas seemed to tolerate high nitrates and insane phosphates and opened up within 10 minutes of adding them to my system. Of course long term you'll want to lower them which I have done but I'd recommend not chasing numbers and just try to maintain stability, as long as everything is healthy and growing you're fine. Of course I'm a newbie as well so this is just in my brief experience so take it with a grain of salt :). Also I'd recommend getting those hermits some spare shells ASAP or they'll be commiting snail murders, my blue leg seemed to have a fondness for nassarius in particular when it was smaller.

Thanks! No idea what my phosphates are, but nitrates are nice and low (<10) after my water change yesterday.

 

I specifically got scarlet crabs because they're supposed to be more peaceful and not snail-killers. I actually have a couple shells that came in my bagged sand - one is quite pretty, I hope someone swaps into it - but I do intend to get some more shells for them to choose from. :)

 

I'd have really loved to pick up a coral frag today, but the LFS girl advised against it and said I should add fish before corals. Also, I wanted to make sure there's nothing I have to do to prepare the tank for corals. Can I just... plop one in there at this point? They had such pretty trumpet coral frags for $10 each...

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Lula_Mae   
28 minutes ago, Madcat said:

Thanks! No idea what my phosphates are, but nitrates are nice and low (<10) after my water change yesterday.

 

I specifically got scarlet crabs because they're supposed to be more peaceful and not snail-killers. I actually have a couple shells that came in my bagged sand - one is quite pretty, I hope someone swaps into it - but I do intend to get some more shells for them to choose from. :)

 

I'd have really loved to pick up a coral frag today, but the LFS girl advised against it and said I should add fish before corals. Also, I wanted to make sure there's nothing I have to do to prepare the tank for corals. Can I just... plop one in there at this point? They had such pretty trumpet coral frags for $10 each...

Well, I've kept corals off and on for years and only a few months ago started trying to keep fish, so there ya go. If the tank's safe for inverts you should be ok to try a coral frag, esp for only $10!  Just go slowly as you add things.

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Madcat   

Cool. I think I should figure out what to feed my corals before I add any. I'm very curious about other people's feeding schedules. I have pellets for my future fish. What else? Frozen (or PE?) mysis? Reef Roids? (No Reef Chili in Canada apparently.) Is that all I need?

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According to my research feeding corals isn't necessary as long as it's photosynthetic but I think certain species like duncan's do better with supplemental feeding. I don't know about trumpets in particular but one of my octo/frogspawn frags ate a NLS pellet that my clown dropped in it. Also if you do decide to get the frag make sure to dip it before putting it in your tank.

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Madcat   

This stringy stuff is all over two of my rocks this morning:

 

IMG_5183.thumb.JPG.22938d17ffc52ed4d530ee24af90642c.JPG

 

There's sand in it. Is it from the snails? :huh:

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Lugmos12   
2 hours ago, Madcat said:

This stringy stuff is all over two of my rocks this morning:

 

IMG_5183.thumb.JPG.22938d17ffc52ed4d530ee24af90642c.JPG

 

There's sand in it. Is it from the snails? :huh:

does it look slimy? my snails leave that on their path all the time 

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Try to watch and see if it's coming from

 your output, maybe post some more pics too.

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Trumpet/candy cane corals are fine to add. They're super easy to keep and the heads multiply like madness if you feed them mysis.

 

You don't necessarily need to feed many corals, but people do in order to encourage growth. 

 

I handfeed acans and trumpets but I don't bother feeding xenia or leathers.

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Madcat   

Hmm! Maybe I'll go back for a frag tomorrow.

 

I think the stringy stuff is just snail goobers. It looks like cobwebs with sand grains in it, lol.

 

One of my crabs started exploring right away yesterday. She found her way to the live rock and started picking away at it like mad! Today she's just been chilling. The other crab got up on a little rock shelf yesterday and hasn't moved. He pulls into his shell a bit when I look at him, so I know he's alive and alert. I wish he would move though.

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Sometimes they dig into the sand and come out at night. I find mine scaling the walls or climbing my gorgonian in the evening time.

 

Hilarious little guys.

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Lula_Mae   
16 hours ago, Madcat said:

This stringy stuff is all over two of my rocks this morning:

 

IMG_5183.thumb.JPG.22938d17ffc52ed4d530ee24af90642c.JPG

 

There's sand in it. Is it from the snails? :huh:

I'm not sure what it is but do a search on vermetid snails to be sure that's not what it is.  They make long stringy webby things that can irritate corals and they can multiply rapidly.

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Madcat   
51 minutes ago, Lula_Mae said:

I'm not sure what it is but do a search on vermetid snails to be sure that's not what it is.  They make long stringy webby things that can irritate corals and they can multiply rapidly.

Oooh, thanks. I took a look on google and I haven't seen anything like that in the tank... and I haven't seen the stringy stuff before, so it showing up right after I added snails makes me think it's likely just them. But I'm gonna keep an eye out. (Stringy stuff has all been blown off the rock by the powerhead now.)

 

Claudette is Crab Queen of the Tank!

 

IMG_5181.thumb.JPG.770df5976b36c2d2ffb9e775eca30c18.JPG

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sugar   

Hard for me to tell for sure, but probably a slime trail from your nassarius snails.  Mine leave slime trails when they are on the go (on the rocks, sand or up the glass!).  It doesn't last.  Could be vermetid or just gunk that needs more flow.  My bet's on slime though.

 

Looking good!  It's exciting, isn't it?  You seem to be taking things really slow and easy, which is what I did!  It really helps to take your time and research as you go (before adding anything to the tank, for example) and you'll avoid unnecessary hiccups!  Hiccups are inevitable, though :P

 

Keep updating!  Can't wait to see fish and corals. 

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