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Annakim28

Annakim's struggling 20 gallon

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Annakim28

Hi, I just joined! I have been thinking about making the jump to salt water for a while and finally pulled the trigger! I have been keeping fish for a while now, I've had great luck with low tech planted tanks. I am trying to use what I already know but I know I will have a ton of questions along the way also. 

 

So far I've got a standard 20 gallon tank with an aqua clear 50 and a small koralia pump. I have a Cobalt heater and the Hipargero 30 LED light. Once I have fish I've got a hang on back refugium in my Amazon cart that I will add. Will also probably add another koralia and the wave maker controller hydor makes when I start adding coral. And auto top off will probably be added too at some point.

 

Everything has been up and running for 4 days, I am already seeing some nitrites so that is encouraging, I'll give credit to Dr. Tim's one and only for that! I'm using a red Sea test kit.

 

In my freshwater life I really enjoy nano fish and stocking with fish not everyone else has. I saw some teenie tiny green banded gobies at my lfs and thought they were so cute but the fish store guy said they would just get lost :(. I've got my eye on a yellow clown goby though! What else should I look into stocking wise???

 

Sorry for the novel, here's a picture!

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Sbrown325

Nice tank welcome to the forum. There is lots of great ppl an information here take a good look around. I have always liked the goby shrimp relationship myself. An of course you have your choice of designer clowns! But what exactly Is your tank going to be a reef,Fowler, softie, lps, sps, mixed? That way others can guide you along the way as far as stocking livestock and or corals! Happy reefing! 

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Annakim28

Thanks! Hopefully a mixed softy/lps reef. I'm gonna start with easy soft corals and see how it goes, add some lps down the line, oddly I don't care much for sps. I really like the shrimp goby combo too! And I really think black and white fish look stunning in a reef so maybe a pair of black occelaris clowns? I like fish that do more than just flit in the water column so I'm drawn to fish that sift through sand/pick at rocks and stuff like that. 

 

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Sbrown325

Tail spot blennies are fun with tons of personality and will pick at algae. Sand sifting gobies are great too but need a constant source of food from the sand bed and usually there’s just not enough in a new tank. Just research extensively and make informed decisions. Although we will experience losses in this hobby. We want to make the best home possible for our tank inhabitants. 

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Clown79

Nice looking tank.


 

Liveaquaria.com 

has a lot of info and compatibility chart

 

There are a few options.

 

Ocellaris clowns

Firefish

Gobies 

Blennies

Cardinals

Orchids dottyback

Royal gramma 

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Annakim28

My cycle is comeing a long nicely! I am seeing a fair amount of nitrates (way more than I expected) some nitrites and the ammonia is only 0.2 every time I test even after adding fish food/ammonia drops (half dose) the night before. I'm getting really excited about fish! I'm hoping to fit 3-4 fish in this tank so I want them all to be small. Also, leaning away from clowns all together as I would want two if I get any and that's half my stock... 

 

Right now for fish I'm thinking:

Tail spot blenny

Orange spotted shrimp goby OR yellow watchman goby

Pink streaked wrass OR possum wrasse OR court jester goby OR black ocellaris (a pair) 

Green clown goby OR yellow clown goby 

 

Inverts:

Candy cane pistol shrimp

Cleaner shrimp

Nassarius snail(s)

Trochus snail(s)

Some sort of crab that won't kill everything else...

 

What would you do?

 

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JBM

Nice looking tank you have there. 

 

Order the refugium and set it up (sans macroalgae) once your nitrites drop off and you only have nitrates add chaeto and whatever other macro you might like. 

 

The extra water volume helps. 

 

Your invert list looks good. 2-3 nassarius. 5-7 trochus. I prefer to not add to many at once because they will compete for food. 

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Annakim28

Any advice on which macroalgaes do good in a display? I plan on chaeto in the refugium but I really like the lagoon style tanks too and "planted reefs". 

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JBM

Turtle grass, dragons breath, scroll, blue octhode. Etc

 

all do great as display algaes

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Annakim28

Ok so the cycle is being wierd. Ammonia drops quickly every time I add it but never to 0, it's at 0.2. I started seeing nitrites right away and they have climbed to 0.5 at the highest. Today it's suddenly 0 but the ammonia test is less than 0.2 but greener than 0...idk what's going on. Nitrates had climbed above 20 but now seems closer to 10, I haven't done any water changes since I started, just top offs with RODI. Am I lucky enough to have some denitrification going on? Im not sure what to do except add more ammonia to challenge it and see what happens? 

 

PS. I'm using the red Sea test kit.

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Annakim28

So it's been about 3 weeks since I started cycling this tank and I'm not sure what to think. In the first week I tested and added ammonia every day or two. Since then I've been testing and adding ammonia or fish food 2x per week. My testing shows minimal (<0.2) ammonia, 0 nitrItes and about 10 nitrAtes. pH is 8, kh is 7. This is 6 days after adding fish food. I'm wondering how accurate the ammonia test is because I can't figure out why I would have ammonia and not nitrItes. I think tomorrow I'm gonna take a water sample to a local fish store and see what their test says. I'm a little frustrated.

 

On the upside, I got my refugium in the mail and it's super cool. It holds almost a gallon of water I think and the little finnex light seems super bright. I use finnex lights on  my freshwater tanks so I'm confident it can grow macro algae. 

MVIMG_20180516_180153.jpg

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ReefGoat

I am cycling with dry rock and using Dr. Tims ammonia and Microbacter7. I don't think you're supposed to be dosing the ammonia like that. A veteran can chime in and correct me if I'm wrong. But what I did was start by spiking the ammonia at 4ppm. I added the Microbacter7 every day for 2 weeks. Once I saw nitrates peaking high. I did a large water change. Then just to test I added 1ppm of Dr. Tims ammonia (just a few drops) and monitored to see if it would go to 0 in 24 hours. It did so now I'm just letting it chill out and sit for another 2 weeks just to make sure and doing weekly water changes and adding Microbacter7 once a week after water changes. You could possibly be inhibiting the growth and establishment of your biological filtration by dosing ammonia like you're doing. Like I said I'm still pretty new. So someone will either agree or slap my hand LMAO

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Kdrof

It sounds like you are trying to do the fishless cycle with Dr Tim's One and Only. Did you get the Dr Tim's Ammonia? I just went through the fishless cycle process with both of their products and it worked very well. The only thing I did before that for several weeks was dose Microbacter7... that was only because I was going to try and cycle with fish food.

 

Anyhow, give this link a try as it lays out the fishless cycle with their products. If you already have this and are following it and getting other results, then you can contact there support and they are quite helpful.

 

http://www.drtimsaquatics.com/resources/fishless-cycling?gclid=Cj0KCQjwre_XBRDVARIsAPf7zZj-cPMqvqDVzBD3k9y51ZN10mmS-FmLDOzaLc4Cztpl9JLfutZCgOAaAo8KEALw_wcB

 

Good luck, keep us posted on the progress.

 

By the way, nice aquascape :)

 

Oh! Also, make sure that the hang on the back filter is not taking anything out of the water. Are you running any type of media in it? You want the bacteria in the tank to feed and colonize based on the recommended amounts of Ammonia Dr. Tim's dosed. As bacteria colonize your tank with break the ammonia down faster and faster until it can consume 2ppm down to less than .02 Ammonia and Nitrite over 24 hrs. I have never used a HOB filter like that during the cycle, but maybe others can chime in on that. MB7 and your HOB filter are the only differences from what I did :)

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Annakim28

I did pretty much the same thing I've always done with a fishless cycle with my freshwater tanks. I add the bacteria day one and the recommended ammonia drops. I added more as needed because it dropped immediately and I wanted to keep feeding bacteria. I only added fish food cuz I figured a variety of food sources for the bacteria can't hurt and I'm running low on my tiny bottle of Dr. Tim's ammonia. I definitely slowed down dosing once I started seeing nirtrates. There is nothing running that would remove a nitrogen product I don't think...unless carbon does...didn't think of that. 

 

PS, thanks for the compliment! I can't wait to make it look even better with corals!

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Annakim28

Ok, so today I was just so annoyed at my ammonia test which has never given me answers that made sense. So, I ran a test. I retested my tank water side by side with leftover lfs salt water (has been sealed and sitting in my house for a while). They both showed a slight green color that is lighter than 0.2 but definitely not yellow 0. So I think my tank is cycled! I'm testing the cycle over the next 24 hours with Dr. Tim's ammonia and I will most likely be picking up fish this weekend! Yay! Will also be grabbing some cheato for my refugium, I hope it will come with some little micro critters. 

 

Today I also noticed what I assume is diatoms? Also some green algae now that I'm looking at the picture...yay, life!

MVIMG_20180517_170316.jpg

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Annakim28

Ok that that was a super cool thread and I feel pretty confident now that my tank is cycled and if my ammonia has gone back down to what I'm calling 0 based on my test I'm getting a fish! I found a store near me that specializes in aquaculture corals and tank bred fish so I'm super excited. Pictures when I have something to show off!

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Annakim28

Thank you to The Reef Farm in Raleigh for some super awesome home grown corals and to Fintastic Aquariums in Cary for the adorable tiny fish!

 

The new additions:

Yellow clown goby

Hairy mushroom

Toadstool leather

 

I'll post more pictures of the corals when the lights are on and they open up!

 

Tiny fish needs a name...on the table are Pikachu and Claudio.

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Annakim28

Happy reef! I have found that Sunny D aka Pacman loves baby brine shrimp. I know it's not the best for him but he doesn't spit them back out like most everything else and hopefully I can get some weight on him. Have also seen him keep tiny bits of high quality flake food down. New crabs and snails have done a great job cleaning up! 

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Annakim28

Jack the Halloween crab, toadstool leather and they hairy mushroom. Happy Sea critters!

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Annakim28

Something hatched in my refugium overnight...I can definitely see two eyes...teeny baby fish? Is that possible? I know some sort of pod is much more likely but they seriously look like fish and they all showed up overnight. A few have been washed out into the display but apparently they are too big or not tastey, Sunny won't eat them, which is a bummer cuz he needs the calories...

 

 

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A Little Blue
2 minutes ago, Annakim28 said:

Something hatched in my refugium overnight...I can definitely see two eyes...teeny baby fish? Is that possible? A few have been washed out into the display but apparently they are too big or not tastey, Sunny won't eat them.

 

 

Pods not a fish. Good food source for verity of fish. 

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Annakim28

That's what the rational part of my brain is telling me but I though I'd ask haha.

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Annakim28

Cool hitch hikers on Jack's shell! If you look really close you can see tiny red fan worms on top of his shell. There's also a tube worm coming out the bottom of his shell. There's another building a shell of sand off the side of my shrooms frag rock but I can't get a pic of it. It's possible I spend too much time staring at this tank... chemistry is pretty steady, I'll probably be adding a tail spot blenny in the next week or two. 

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