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aablkhawk

First SW Tank

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While shopping for a few freshwater fish for my girlfriend's 10 gallon tank, I came across a screamin deal on an Oceanic Biocube 29 HQI.  I've always wanted a saltwater tank, and after talking with a few guys at the store, convinced myself I should finally go for it.

 

So I'm currently cycling my tank, and trying to read as much as I can in the meantime

 

Day 1, Sunday, after buying sand, water, and live rock.  We added in a few of our own shells and some fossilized coral that we found recently on the beach as well.

IMG_0109.thumb.jpg.e112bd5d1b2573c42f431140d588f601.jpg

 

Day 2, Monday, water is clearing up a bit, starting to see life on some of the rocks.

 

IMG_0110.thumb.jpg.f4744209c07480412fae4cb8104822ef.jpg

 

Monday night, started seeing small shrimp and several bristle worms.  I'm sure this is all old and uneventful to many, but I'm absolutely hooked just watching the rocks, seeing what else I'm going to find.  And this is supposed to be the part where I'm impatient!

 

IMG_0115.thumb.jpg.a5c5a2fd39f71a486cc32e3c746a0b09.jpg

 

Came across this forum because I did a search on why my filter was floating in the back chamber....will keep reading

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12 minutes ago, aablkhawk said:

While shopping for a few freshwater fish for my girlfriend's 10 gallon tank, I came across a screamin deal on an Oceanic Biocube 29 HQI.  I've always wanted a saltwater tank, and after talking with a few guys at the store, convinced myself I should finally go for it.

 

So I'm currently cycling my tank, and trying to read as much as I can in the meantime

 

Day 1, Sunday, after buying sand, water, and live rock.  We added in a few of our own shells and some fossilized coral that we found recently on the beach as well.

IMG_0109.thumb.jpg.e112bd5d1b2573c42f431140d588f601.jpg

 

Day 2, Monday, water is clearing up a bit, starting to see life on some of the rocks.

 

IMG_0110.thumb.jpg.f4744209c07480412fae4cb8104822ef.jpg

 

Monday night, started seeing small shrimp and several bristle worms.  I'm sure this is all old and uneventful to many, but I'm absolutely hooked just watching the rocks, seeing what else I'm going to find.  And this is supposed to be the part where I'm impatient!

 

IMG_0115.thumb.jpg.a5c5a2fd39f71a486cc32e3c746a0b09.jpg

 

Came across this forum because I did a search on why my filter was floating in the back chamber....will keep reading

:welcome:

 

research, research, research. 

 

Then repeat. :)  

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Clown79   

Welcome

 

Research until your eyes burn. Lol.

 

Are you testing during the cycling process?

 

What are you using in the back chambers for filtration?

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14 hours ago, Clown79 said:

Welcome

 

Research until your eyes burn. Lol.

 

Are you testing during the cycling process?

 

What are you using in the back chambers for filtration?

Just got my first book in the mail :)

 

I just tested yesterday.  My test kit is in the mail right now, so I took the sample to the LFS.  They said I had no nitrates, nitrites, or ammonia, and the salt was just a little on the high side, probably from evaporation?  They recommended getting a few crabs/snails so I did that.  He said to bring another sample in a few days and do a 30% water change at that time.  I've also started to see some algae blooming.

 

Right now I just have the filter that came with the tank back there.  Been looking at different options...filter floss/charcoal, etc.  Any suggestions and insights are greatly appreciated.  The protein skimmer that came with it was missing the collection cup, so they ordered another one for me, but I don't think I'm at the stage where that will make a difference yet.

 

IMG_0118.thumb.JPG.ecea4be07760debefb544d7403c58824.JPG

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Also was informed those little "shrimp" I started seeing are amphipods haha

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cju84   
21 minutes ago, aablkhawk said:

 

I just tested yesterday.  My test kit is in the mail right now, so I took the sample to the LFS.  They said I had no nitrates, nitrites, or ammonia, and the salt was just a little on the high side, probably from evaporation?  They recommended getting a few crabs/snails so I did that.  He said to bring another sample in a few days and do a 30% water change at that time.  I've also started to see some algae blooming.

 

Right now I just have the filter that came with the tank back there.  Been looking at different options...filter floss/charcoal, etc.  Any suggestions and insights are greatly appreciated.  The protein skimmer that came with it was missing the collection cup, so they ordered another one for me, but I don't think I'm at the stage where that will make a difference yet.

 

 

What did you use to start your cycle?  If you hadn't used anything to induce an ammonia spike, you shouldn't be adding any livestock to your system - nothing should be added until your tank has fully cycled, which could take anywhere from 2 weeks - 8 weeks.  If you haven't introduced ammonia, your tank hasn't begun cycling yet, most likely.

 

You shouldn't be doing water changes during a cycle either.  One large one after the cycle is complete.

 

I wouldn't ever listen to anyone at your LFS.  Do your research by reviewing the relevant threads in this forum - you'll find all the info you need to have a successful tank!

 

Filter floss is good (use that in the top most compartment of your media basket and change it a couple times/week).  Chemi-pure Elite/Blue is another that many people here use, as well as Purigen.

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10 minutes ago, cju84 said:

What did you use to start your cycle?  If you hadn't used anything to induce an ammonia spike, you shouldn't be adding any livestock to your system - nothing should be added until your tank has fully cycled, which could take anywhere from 2 weeks - 8 weeks.  If you haven't introduced ammonia, your tank hasn't begun cycling yet, most likely.

 

You shouldn't be doing water changes during a cycle either.  One large one after the cycle is complete.

 

I wouldn't ever listen to anyone at your LFS.  Do your research by reviewing the relevant threads in this forum - you'll find all the info you need to have a successful tank!

 

Filter floss is good (use that in the top most compartment of your media basket and change it a couple times/week).  Chemi-pure Elite/Blue is another that many people here use, as well as Purigen.

I started with live rock, live sand, and salt water from the store.  What else should I have added to get ammonia in the system?

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cju84   
1 minute ago, aablkhawk said:

I started with live rock, live sand, and salt water from the store.  What else should I have added to get ammonia in the system?

It's possible you won't see a spike using live sand and live rock.  Not sure at this point if you should add a source or wait about a month and test everyday for ammonia before adding anything else.  Hopefully someone else can chime in.

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Hobbs   

I think the LFS was just trying to make a sale and make you buy unneeded clean up crew. Right now there isn't enough food for them in their to survive and the ammonia spike when it happens might kill them/ make them suffer. Usually after a month or a couple weeks you add them in.

 

to help the tank cycle, putting in a cube of cocktail shrimp will help raise the ammonia levels and provide some food for your critters. Personally I like to dice it so it will decay quicker and I used chicken cause I don't like buying shrimp to eat... Other people will say add a damsel in to cycle it but it's very inhumane and it could die.

 

hope this helps!

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3 hours ago, Hobbs said:

I think the LFS was just trying to make a sale and make you buy unneeded clean up crew. Right now there isn't enough food for them in their to survive and the ammonia spike when it happens might kill them/ make them suffer. Usually after a month or a couple weeks you add them in.

 

to help the tank cycle, putting in a cube of cocktail shrimp will help raise the ammonia levels and provide some food for your critters. Personally I like to dice it so it will decay quicker and I used chicken cause I don't like buying shrimp to eat... Other people will say add a damsel in to cycle it but it's very inhumane and it could die.

 

hope this helps!

Thanks!  I thought it was a little odd that he suggested adding stuff so early, but he wasn't the original guy helping me, so maybe he thought that with my levels where they were at, I had already cycled?  I dunno, trying to think positive haha.  I'll try the shrimp, hopefully the little guys don't suffer....

3 hours ago, cju84 said:

It's possible you won't see a spike using live sand and live rock.  Not sure at this point if you should add a source or wait about a month and test everyday for ammonia before adding anything else.  Hopefully someone else can chime in.

Thanks.  There's another LFS I found here too, I may try them out to see what they say.

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Boggers   

Like others, I would advise you to slow down right now. Since you have already added some snails and Shrimp this will be my recommendation at this point:

Do not add any lifestock to this tank for at least 3 weeks from now.

Drop in a little bit of nori or flake fish food daily for the shrimp to eat (remove any if you notice it the next day still there)

Test your water every few days to watch for cycle (it will happen even with live rock and sand)

In those 3 weeks pound the forums/books and learn as much as you can.

 

Given the rock had pods and brittle worms means it might actually have a good population of bacteria already but it will still cycle and feeding the tank just a little will give the ammonia to get it kick started.

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Hobbs   

There's a bunch of guides out ther but these 2 are super great for new reefers/ 2 of my favorite. Like boggers said, dig the forums!

 

 

 

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If you used live rock and live sand you may not see much of an ammonia spike.  Everything is still alive so I would just give it a few weeks to "level out" and then proceed.  

 

Do not trust the LFS until you are confident enough in your knowledge of reefing to know when they are full of sh*t.  

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1 hour ago, WV Reefer said:

If you used live rock and live sand you may not see much of an ammonia spike.  Everything is still alive so I would just give it a few weeks to "level out" and then proceed.  

 

Do not trust the LFS until you are confident enough in your knowledge of reefing to know when they are full of sh*t.  

That makes me feel a little better....I was really planning on taking it slow and making sure I do it right.  The guy actually said I could put a clown in there and I asked shouldn't I be introducing invertebrates first?   That's when he said I could get a couple hermits and snails.

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39 minutes ago, aablkhawk said:

That makes me feel a little better....I was really planning on taking it slow and making sure I do it right.  The guy actually said I could put a clown in there and I asked shouldn't I be introducing invertebrates first?   That's when he said I could get a couple hermits and snails.

You'll be fine. :)  just let things settle in for a bit. If the clean up crew seems restless, toss 'em a pellet.  

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Clown79   

Don't add a Raw shrimp. It will produce waste in your tank which will lead to issues with nutrients and lots of algae 

 

When you use liverock, there is a good chance of no cycle if the rock was cured. If it was dirty and full of decaying matter, then you will go through a cycle. 

 

Ppl mix up using liverock with using dry rock. The cycling is different. One you have to induce the cycle (dry rock) the other you don't (liverock)

 

Your liverock is full of coralline, you are seeing pods, there is life in the tank.

 

I would have advised doing a Water change before adding a cuc. 

 

I always start with a cuc, just a few. Add more later when needed.

 

You can add some flake/pellet food and nori for them. Just very small amounts.

 

I would start doing waterchanges every week now and continue monitoring Params.

 

Go slow.

 

 

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1891Bro   

The presence of pods and worms this early on lets you know that this rock is truly cycled live rock. If you add a raw shrimp or pure ammonia you risk killing all those cool critters you paid premium price for. Test if it makes you feel better but unless you left that rock out to dry for hours and hours before setting up I'll wager on no ammonia or trites showing up. The trates will just slowly get higher. 

 

For filtration, if it still has all the bioballs go ahead and remove them, you won't need them. Look into an inTank media basket, they're a bit pricy but totally worth it. 

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Clown79   

For filtration.

 

Using a media basket, even a diy one is good.

Using filter floss changed twice a week is very beneficial.

 

A bag of carbon is good. Rinse the bag weekly and changed the carbon every 2-3 weeks.

 

Purigen is another good product to look into. 

 

Phosphate reducers can be added when needed.

 

If using sponges, ditch them. They will become a nutrient issue.

Bioballs the same. I'd remove them a bit each week during waterchanges.

 

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Hobbs   

I would trust @Clown79's opinion more than mine, I was hoping that whatever critters you have would eat most of the shrimp so that you did not have a huge ammonia spike.  When do you think he will be good to add fish in? I usually put one in after the ammonia declines and the nitrates peak (after some water changes) just so that I have enough bacteria in there so I don't have an ammonia spike with my first fish

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16 hours ago, 1891Bro said:

The presence of pods and worms this early on lets you know that this rock is truly cycled live rock. If you add a raw shrimp or pure ammonia you risk killing all those cool critters you paid premium price for. Test if it makes you feel better but unless you left that rock out to dry for hours and hours before setting up I'll wager on no ammonia or trites showing up. The trates will just slowly get higher. 

 

For filtration, if it still has all the bioballs go ahead and remove them, you won't need them. Look into an inTank media basket, they're a bit pricy but totally worth it. 

Thanks for the info!  This model (HQI) didn't come with the bioballs, they got rid of them and introduced a built in fuge instead.  It has the basic filter at the top of chamber 2, then a screen at the bottom, with open space and a window to the back in the middle.  Makes it easy instead of having to scrape the back off :)

16 hours ago, Clown79 said:

For filtration.

 

Using a media basket, even a diy one is good.

Using filter floss changed twice a week is very beneficial.

 

A bag of carbon is good. Rinse the bag weekly and changed the carbon every 2-3 weeks.

 

Purigen is another good product to look into. 

 

Phosphate reducers can be added when needed.

 

If using sponges, ditch them. They will become a nutrient issue.

Bioballs the same. I'd remove them a bit each week during waterchanges.

 

What do you put in place of the sponge?  Just another charcoal bag?

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Clown79   
2 hours ago, aablkhawk said:

Thanks for the info!  This model (HQI) didn't come with the bioballs, they got rid of them and introduced a built in fuge instead.  It has the basic filter at the top of chamber 2, then a screen at the bottom, with open space and a window to the back in the middle.  Makes it easy instead of having to scrape the back off :)

What do you put in place of the sponge?  Just another charcoal bag?

Filter floss is used to trap floating particles and replaced twice a week.

Sponge is good for FW tanks but not necessary in sw. 

3 hours ago, Hobbs said:

I would trust @Clown79's opinion more than mine, I was hoping that whatever critters you have would eat most of the shrimp so that you did not have a huge ammonia spike.  When do you think he will be good to add fish in? I usually put one in after the ammonia declines and the nitrates peak (after some water changes) just so that I have enough bacteria in there so I don't have an ammonia spike with my first fish

You have to watch ammonia rise to a certain level nd process into nitrite.

 

Once ammonia and nitrite is 0 you need to do a waterchange. The volume of waterchange depends on how high nitrates are.

 

Monitor for a week.

 

I prefer to start with a few hermits and a couple of snails before I do a fish.

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Got my API test kit yesterday in the mail.  Showing about 7.6ph, 0 ammonia, 0 nitrate, 0 nitrite.  So I think I need to raise the ph a bit for a reef tank, but everything else is staying put.  I think I'm getting an aiptasia infestation.  Started with a couple, little tentacles you could see coming out of the hole, and has turned into about 10 I can easily see, some of them getting pretty large and moving around quite a bit.  I came home and one had gone completely out of the hole and was anchored onto the white shell I have on the rock.  I've been told Peppermint Shrimp are the way to go, but in the meantime "Aiptasia X" can get rid of them...?  

20170914_071153.thumb.jpg.f69167d1256a6d07f31a36be15c9013f.jpg

Sorry it's a little fuzzy, sometimes my phone autofocuses on a tiny floating particle instead of what I want it to.

 

Crabs and snails are doing good.  Came home and one of my snails looked like he had fallen from somewhere and was on his back, but he somehow turned himself back over.  My blue leg decided the algae on the back of a snail was a good meal.  Haven't seen any issues with crabs fighting each other or attacking the snails.20170914_205641.thumb.jpg.5d0ba19b151aaf470005c15aca10f869.jpg

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16 minutes ago, aablkhawk said:

Got my API test kit yesterday in the mail.  Showing about 7.6ph, 0 ammonia, 0 nitrate, 0 nitrite.  So I think I need to raise the ph a bit for a reef tank, but everything else is staying put.  I think I'm getting an aiptasia infestation.  Started with a couple, little tentacles you could see coming out of the hole, and has turned into about 10 I can easily see, some of them getting pretty large and moving around quite a bit.  I came home and one had gone completely out of the hole and was anchored onto the white shell I have on the rock.  I've been told Peppermint Shrimp are the way to go, but in the meantime "Aiptasia X" can get rid of them...?  

20170914_071153.thumb.jpg.f69167d1256a6d07f31a36be15c9013f.jpg

Sorry it's a little fuzzy, sometimes my phone autofocuses on a tiny floating particle instead of what I want it to.

 

Crabs and snails are doing good.  Came home and one of my snails looked like he had fallen from somewhere and was on his back, but he somehow turned himself back over.  My blue leg decided the algae on the back of a snail was a good meal.  Haven't seen any issues with crabs fighting each other or attacking the snails.20170914_205641.thumb.jpg.5d0ba19b151aaf470005c15aca10f869.jpg

Don't chase ph.  If it's steady, leave it alone. 

 

I wouldnt use peppermint shrimp because if they eat aiptasia they are more likely to munch on other things.  Use aiptasia x or berghia nudibranch if they get really bad.  

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Clown79   

Don't do anything to alter ph. It cn effect my things including alk.

 

Oh fluctuates through the day, it's effected by photosynthesis.

 

The only things that are safe to do is more water surface movement and opening a window.

 

I prefer to use aiptasia x for aiptasia because I have had nothing but problems with peppermint shrimp and yes they weren't camel shrimps.

 

Peppermints often go after fleshy corals

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Hobbs   

I take fresh water and boil it, then take a little pipette and squirt the really hot water at it. Pretty small target area and works great to kill aptaisa. You can also do this for hair algae

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