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chunkylovah

chunkylovah's *FIRST EVER* Reefer 170 BUILD!

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chunkylovah

This is my first build ever if you couldn't tell from the title! I've never kept a fish in my life. I do love fishing, preparing fish, cooking fish, snorkeling to look at fish, and occasionally smelling fish. But enough about fish, I'm really doing this for the coral. 

 

I first met coral on the internet. It was love at first sight. I was originally looking online at creepy crawlers and lizards, then somehow slipped into octopus and inverts, then SHWAM! A reef aquarium popped up and that's when I first saw my sweet lady coral within a controlled environment. I felt my heart go a flutter and that's when I knew I would get wet for coral *no regrets*. Fast forward through 6 months of research and saving and SHWAM! I bought my self a Red Sea Reefer 170. Then fast forward another 3 or 4 months of pussy footing around and SHWAM! I went on a black Friday/cyber Monday buying spree and picked up the following;

 

  • Sicce 3.0 Return Pump (Extra power if I ever want to add reactors or a chiller)
  • Vortech MP10QD Powerhead
  • Aquamaxx WS-1 Protein Skimmer
  • Tunze 3155 ATO
  • Jager 150 Watt Heater
  • BRS 75 GPD RO/DI Filter
  • 45 lbs of Live Rock
  • Salt, Carbon, Rainwater from the mountains of Nepal (Because my fish will only know luxury)
  • One sadry dead little Shrimpy McShrimperton (for cycling)

 

Yes, I realize I talk like a teenager that was repeatedly bludgeoned in the face with the jackhammer of puberty and never really came out the other end a complete man. I'm like a man-boy, if you will.

 

My reef status is updated on my personal blog HERE!

 

I will also be updating on this forum to keep you guys up to date on stuff. Sadly though, I am not some kind stranger in the night at your local rest stop. I am primarily posting here in hopes that if I am messing up or have plans on messing up you guys will be the trampoline to my fall. Please let me know if I'm doing something wrong! I like opinions, advice, experience, logic, knowledge and stuff like that so please share!

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chunkylovah

So I think my cycle stalled... Nitrite and nitrates have been maxed out and haven't budged in 2.5 weeks since they first peaked. So it has been a 1 month and 1 week since I started my cycle.  I did a 10 gallon water change today, thinking maybe I just needed to thin out the bad stuff a bit. I put a bit of dead shrimp in for 3 days cause I thought maybe my ammonium eating bacteria might be getting hungry, since its been a while (yes, I talk like they are fish). My ammonium shot up and disappeared within 2 days (tested yesterday), so I think that's probably a good thing. To bad my nitrites don't want to leave me alone (sigh)....

 

I know I probably just need to be more patient. I don't know how you people do it. Staring at a box of water and rocks, while some invisible black magic goes on behind the scenes. I wasn't blessed with the virtue of patience dammit! 

 

Also, what's an easy way to do water changes? Because right now doing a water change is like a 3-5 hour commitment. Wait for ro/di filter to fill 5 gallon bucket, dump salt, mix, pull salt water out of tank, put saltwater in tank, refill bucket with ro/di water for ato. 

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DCUEVAS74
1 hour ago, chunkylovah said:

So I think my cycle stalled... Nitrite and nitrates have been maxed out and haven't budged in 2.5 weeks since they first peaked. So it has been a 1 month and 1 week since I started my cycle.  I did a 10 gallon water change today, thinking maybe I just needed to thin out the bad stuff a bit. I put a bit of dead shrimp in for 3 days cause I thought maybe my ammonium eating bacteria might be getting hungry, since its been a while (yes, I talk like they are fish). My ammonium shot up and disappeared within 2 days (tested yesterday), so I think that's probably a good thing. To bad my nitrites don't want to leave me alone (sigh)....

 

I know I probably just need to be more patient. I don't know how you people do it. Staring at a box of water and rocks, while some invisible black magic goes on behind the scenes. I wasn't blessed with the virtue of patience dammit! 

 

Also, what's an easy way to do water changes? Because right now doing a water change is like a 3-5 hour commitment. Wait for ro/di filter to fill 5 gallon bucket, dump salt, mix, pull salt water out of tank, put saltwater in tank, refill bucket with ro/di water for ato. 

Sometimes I have found that cycles can be short with these smaller setups.   I usually place a damsel in my setup to get things going when that happens to test the waters.  Even maybe place some hardy corals to give it a go such as a zoa frag.  

 

I bought some 20 gallon Brute trashcans from Home Depot to help withe the water.  Found doing these in 20 gallon batches really shorted the WC time.  Can't wait to see what corals and livestock you decide on.  Good luck!

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Christopher Marks

Welcome to the community @chunkylovah, you're off to a great start!

 

The cycle process can be frustrating, and oh so boring, but it sounds like perhaps it has actually completed the process. To have high nitrates is normal, indicating time for water change. What are your nitrites testing like? If your ammonia is testing 0, and nitrites 0, then you're in the clear. Your nitrates will continue to rise as the end product of the nitrogen cycle. If it's not already there, I bet the next day or so you'll see it.

 

Solid water change advice from DCUEVAS74. Having larger quantities of RO/DI water on hand or in storage can save you a lot of trouble, if you're able to find the space for it. Here's a great DIY Article from our Library that demonstrates a slick water change system, lots of great ideas put to use to save time: 

 

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chunkylovah

@DCUEVAS74 Yeah I am considering just doing a big water change in another week or so to drop everything to zero and throw something on the cheap side in. At least I know the ammonium is getting processed, which is the biggest worry. Good call on the cans, thanks!

 

@Christopher Marks My nitrites are super high too. I've read somewhere that nitrites can take double the time of ammonium to hit 0. So my guess is I just have to wait another week or so. That or my massive amount of nitrates (changes colors to max immediately when testing) are fudging my nitrite test or stalling the nitrite => nitrate process? But at least I know the bad stuff is progressing successfully all the way through from ammonium => nitrite => nitrate. Thanks for the link!

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chunkylovah

Just did an update about my reef tank on my blog. If your interested in the long version, it's found HERE!

 

If that's not your style then I will give you the gist of it!

Basically I took the advice from you guys and got two brute trash cans to help with water changes. I tested my water a few days after my 2nd 15 gallon water change and had 0 ammonium, 0 nitrite, and 5 nitrate. I decided to go ahead and make my way down to my LFS. I was talked into buying a pair of clowns instead of a test fish(I was originally planning on getting a chromis). I brought them home and they have been happy and healthy for the past few days. I am feeding them pellets once a day sometimes twice. A little annoyed that they only eat suspended food and nothing that touches the floor.

 

I'm wondering what would eat food off the floor of a barebottom? Maybe a shrimp?

 

Other than that I am prepping for my next water change this week, YAY!

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Lula_Mae

:welcome: to Nano-Reef and the hobby!  The clowns are super cute, and clowns are pretty tough.  Do you have a clean up crew?  A few different types of snails like cerith, astrea, trochus, nassarius will cover different types of algae and detritus, and you can use hermits too (get scarlets, they tend to be the most docile; don't get zebras because they are evil meanies).

 

Also, you and @Cannedfish should meet as you can both do entertaining posts on the progress of your reefs. :lol:

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Cannedfish
14 hours ago, Lula_Mae said:

:welcome: to Nano-Reef and the hobby!  The clowns are super cute, and clowns are pretty tough.  Do you have a clean up crew?  A few different types of snails like cerith, astrea, trochus, nassarius will cover different types of algae and detritus, and you can use hermits too (get scarlets, they tend to be the most docile; don't get zebras because they are evil meanies).

 

Also, you and @Cannedfish should meet as you can both do entertaining posts on the progress of your reefs. :lol:

Welcome! Love the thread and super jealous of your tank set up. I don't even know what I would do with a sump and that much room. On second thought, it would probably be something completely irresponsible. You will definitely find helpful people on here, who are willingly and able to give great advice. I should know, as my tank constantly towing the line between stable and utter $%&@#*^ disaster. To analogize, my tank is basically like handing Anthony Wiener a burner phone. Anyways, feel free to be a stranger in the night, we'll be here eating gas station hot dogs. I'm definitely looking forward to watching your tank progress, and thanks @Lula_Mae for bird-doggin' me this thread!

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chunkylovah

@Lula_Mae I dislike snails, but I know they are a necessary evil. They give me a serious case of the heebeejeebees, don't think I spelled that right. I will look into your suggestions though and probably throw a few in as soon as anything grows in my tank. Though I do like crabs, just not of the pubic variety.

@Cannedfish haha thanks! I did my first water change with fish inside my tank the other day and it was a nightmare of salinity swings. It was a hard fought failure and probably the first of many to come WOHOO!

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chunkylovah

HERE COMES ANOTHER ONE! As always for a longer and more ridiculous version with an extra order of ramblings click HERE!

 

So I decided to finally buy my light for my tank! It was a hard choice between Radion xr15 Pro and Nanobox Duo. I decided to pull the trigger on the Nanobox because I am personally not a fan of Radion's shimmer. It makes me feel like I'm trashed at a rave and if that's how it makes me feel I can only imagine what it makes my extra adorable fish feel like (they probably don't give a sheet). I really wanted a Radion at first, but the lack of an all-in-one wireless connectivity set up at a more competitive price was a big turn off.

 

So far I like the light, but I'm not crazy about the goose neck. Mine is a bit droopy. I am not sure if that's the way it is suppose to be or not. It's not like actually falling into the water, but if I give it a little love tap it wanders downward as if threatening to jump... Maybe it's a silent cry for help or maybe it's attention seeking, I don't know I am not a psychologist.

 

A fresh batch of diatoms have also begun to take over my tank. They are gross and ugly. I need a CUC to really go to town on these suckers. My LFS wants $3 - $6 a snail -____- my knowledge on pricing is limited, but that seems a bit much. $6 for a dirt sucking ugly ocean bug just seems like blasphemy, but maybe it isn't, I don't know! Maybe he's whipping out the scuba equipment and diving out every weekend scouring the ocean depths for ugly bugs as I sit here on my wifi-enabled high horse clacking away like an idiot. But seriously I am thinking about just ordering online for this one.

 

Here's some pictures of the Think Tank this week!

 

 

 

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diatom.jpg

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chunkylovah

HELLOW! HELLOW! It has been a while since I last updated, so as always here is a link to my personal, wonky and weird reef blog.

 

https://diftsblog.wordpress.com/?s=reef

 

Since the last time I updated I have added updates 3, 4, and 5. So go ahead and enjoy that if you so desire, or don't, what ever tickles your fancy.

 

A lot of little things have changed in my tank. I added a piece or two of coral, a couple members here and there, messed around with rocks a little, dealt with crab problems and have slowed down on my water changing schedule, as once a week was a little crazy for what I have going on in my Think Tank. Since then everything has been going swimmingly! I will add some photos a here a little later! WOOHOO!!!!!

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chunkylovah

I HATE AQUASCAPING SO BAD!! THIS IS A BEFORE AND AFTER! IF YOU CAN'T TELL BY HOW I USED THE WORD HATE AND CONTINUE TO USE CAPITAL LETTERS AND EXLAIMATION MARKS, I DON'T LIKE THE WAY IT TURNED OUT. CAN SOMEONE TELL ME WHAT I AM DOING WRONG! HOW DO I RIGHT THE WRONG I HAVE DONE TO MY FISH!?!?! I also feel like there is no where to put coral...

 

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FSTanks

How’s your reef coming along?

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chunkylovah
On 10/9/2018 at 8:34 PM, FSTanks said:

How’s your reef coming along?

I can't keep a wrasse alive to save my life, but other than that it has been going fairly well. I see you have a reefer 170 too? Did you get up and running yet?

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chunkylovah

Tank update time. There's more blabbing and pictures at my site if your bored (not a good photographer) https://diftsblog.wordpress.com/?s=reef

 

DSC04805.thumb.jpg.a87d7ab203a5fa80f6771d1f1e5bafe6.jpg

 

Getting right into it!

  • Added extra heater for back up

DSC04710.thumb.jpg.bda53f746a5c47efb5cd068df83c6193.jpg

  • Added refugium light and chaeto

DSC04717.thumb.JPG.231ad3c66dfcfe14c92138b4e044c554.JPG

  • Added chiller

DSC04712.thumb.jpg.6ce6287c2cc4bd894026b5df8116ca0e.jpg

  • Added Apex Jr.

DSC04713.thumb.jpg.27503b0e0b1ab37909facb7a44856a17.jpg

  • Added a tailspot blenny

20180521_122757.thumb.jpg.66525a163e15d9cd3339eca40e6c271a.jpg

  • Added a lunatus wrasse

288634921_DSC04625(2).thumb.jpg.95b9b3b15786a472ace2ae75f983dd82.jpg

  • Subtracted a lunatus wrasse
  • Added a ruby longfin wrasse

DSC04772.thumb.jpg.864beeba889d9853e76b28885e7083ed.jpg

  • Subtracted a ruby longfin wrasse
  • Added coral

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  • Added emerald crab

20181011_141535.thumb.jpg.e2c6a5665ed277d1399e06a388dbbb3b.jpg

  • Emerald crab subtracted zoas

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  • Subtracted emerald crab from display
  • Added emerald crab into refugium

 

THERE YOU HAVE IT, all caught up! Wrasses hate my tank and I can't figure out why, emerald crabs are a-holes, and my refugium needs to be cleaned!

 

Until next time,

Trav-nerys Oceanborn of the Basement of My Mum's Place, First of My Name, The Unemployed, King of the Inverts and the First Fish, Master of the Great Reef Sea, Breaker of Bank Accounts, and Father of Scaly Finned Creatures alike.

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FSTanks
6 hours ago, chunkylovah said:

I can't keep a wrasse alive to save my life, but other than that it has been going fairly well. I see you have a reefer 170 too? Did you get up and running yet?

Not yet... been busy with work so not much weekday progress... went to a sale at one shop and got a few items... also received the tank... assembly on stand in progress... will probably have stand done tomorrow, then lots of work to get the tank’s spot in my office prepped and if all goes well maybe quick leak test and plumbing started... but that may be pushing it for tomorrow...

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FSTanks
6 hours ago, chunkylovah said:

Until next time,

Trav-nerys Oceanborn of the Basement of My Mum's Place, First of My Name, The Unemployed, King of the Inverts and the First Fish, Master of the Great Reef Sea, Breaker of Bank Accounts, and Father of Scaly Finned Creatures alike.

🤣

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Lula_Mae
16 hours ago, chunkylovah said:

Tank update time. There's more blabbing and pictures at my site if your bored (not a good photographer) https://diftsblog.wordpress.com/?s=reef

 

DSC04805.thumb.jpg.a87d7ab203a5fa80f6771d1f1e5bafe6.jpg

 

Getting right into it!

  • Added extra heater for back up

DSC04710.thumb.jpg.bda53f746a5c47efb5cd068df83c6193.jpg

  • Added refugium light and chaeto

DSC04717.thumb.JPG.231ad3c66dfcfe14c92138b4e044c554.JPG

  • Added chiller

DSC04712.thumb.jpg.6ce6287c2cc4bd894026b5df8116ca0e.jpg

  • Added Apex Jr.

DSC04713.thumb.jpg.27503b0e0b1ab37909facb7a44856a17.jpg

  • Added a tailspot blenny

20180521_122757.thumb.jpg.66525a163e15d9cd3339eca40e6c271a.jpg

  • Added a lunatus wrasse

288634921_DSC04625(2).thumb.jpg.95b9b3b15786a472ace2ae75f983dd82.jpg

  • Subtracted a lunatus wrasse
  • Added a ruby longfin wrasse

DSC04772.thumb.jpg.864beeba889d9853e76b28885e7083ed.jpg

  • Subtracted a ruby longfin wrasse
  • Added coral

DSC04784.thumb.jpg.7eb399a2269529b84cfd36302da6afcc.jpg

DSC04811.thumb.jpg.5482fc1d33f5bff96765d6eb4d2044ea.jpg

DSC04788.thumb.jpg.6a88878f844bb355ff35afc78db83dd2.jpg

  • Added emerald crab

20181011_141535.thumb.jpg.e2c6a5665ed277d1399e06a388dbbb3b.jpg

  • Emerald crab subtracted zoas

20181012_155606.thumb.jpg.0072eae8f83f909ac5adb50d4a43745a.jpg

  • Subtracted emerald crab from display
  • Added emerald crab into refugium

 

THERE YOU HAVE IT, all caught up! Wrasses hate my tank and I can't figure out why, emerald crabs are a-holes, and my refugium needs to be cleaned!

 

Until next time,

Trav-nerys Oceanborn of the Basement of My Mum's Place, First of My Name, The Unemployed, King of the Inverts and the First Fish, Master of the Great Reef Sea, Breaker of Bank Accounts, and Father of Scaly Finned Creatures alike.

Your commentary is hilarious!  I love my pink-streaked wrasse so I hope you can find one to survive for you!

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chunkylovah
On 10/28/2018 at 7:32 AM, Lula_Mae said:

Your commentary is hilarious!  I love my pink-streaked wrasse so I hope you can find one to survive for you!

Haha thanks! I saw your video of your ps wrasse. It's so adorable it makes me want to try again 😭. I got to figure out why they aren't happy in my tank... Maybe my rockwork isnt giving them enough hiding spots... I dont know!

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