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Sluglife2017

Newbie 28 gallon hexagon

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19 minutes ago, Sluglife2017 said:

No not yet. Getting it tomorrow. I used live sand though.

Are you using liverock ot dry rock?

Live sand doesn't do much for cycling a tank, your bio filter is mostly in your rocks.

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I'm going to use dry rock and Instant Ocean BIO-Spira Water Treatment for Aquariums to add bacteria. I have run into a snag, I cant use hang on the back mechanical filters. So I'm wondering if you guys can help me out. Should I spend the money on a nice protein skimmer or a mechanical filter. See the attached photo.

15439054975425091006642752241403.jpg

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You could probably either put a hang on back filter or skimmer in the smaller rectangular hole.

 

Another option might be a canister filter.

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8 hours ago, seabass said:

You could probably either put a hang on back filter or skimmer in the smaller rectangular hole.

 

Another option might be a canister filter.

Unfortunately I tried a couple different hang on the back filters and thespacing between te back and the small rectangle is too big or too small in some cases. Another issue I have is that the rectangle itself is only 1.75 inches in width so the water flows onto the top. I've decided to go with AQUATOP MR-20 Multimedia Reactor with Pump for mechanical filtration. 

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On 11/28/2018 at 12:53 AM, Sluglife2017 said:

I am new to saltwater fish keeping. I was wondering if anyone could give insight into my hypothetically set up. I have a 28 gallon 21"L x 18"W x 20"H tank. Lots of info on normal sized aquariums but lots of conflicting information on hexagon fish capacity. I am going to run a marineland penguin 350 power filter, rio nano protein skimmer, hydor koralia nano 240 gph circulation pump. I am unsure as to what size heater I need?  I am thinking of doing a reef tank with 15 pounds live rock. I was wondering if i could house 2 Ocellaris Clownfish, 1 neon blue goby, and 1 orange Striped Prawn Goby. Crustacean and Mollusk wise I am thinking of 1 Maxima Clam, 3 Banded Trochus Snails, 2 Scarlet Reef Hermit Crabs, and 1 Pacific Clown Anemone Shrimp.  I am thinking about the following corals/plants: 1 Bubble Tip Anemone(higher in the water column on one side),1 Toadstool Mushroom Leather Coral(also higher up in the water column on the opposing side), 2 Candy Cane Corals (starting from each side of the live rock toward the bottom of the tank).  Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. 

Consider that you're dealing with a tank that has a footprint more or less the same as a 10 Gallon tank.  Lots of things are still possible in that kind of footprint, but pulling off things like clams and anemones in it is more of a stunt or expert move than it is a good idea for someone new to the whole thing.

 

On 11/28/2018 at 1:39 AM, Sluglife2017 said:

Hello,

Thank you for your responses!

I had a freshwater tank along time ago, but have been more into plants the last five years or so. Just recently moved into an apartment without a garden and have always wanted to get into saltwater. I have a variety of LEDs and high compact fluorescents from my growing days, so I'm not too worried about the light even with the depth. I just purchased the 28 gallon hexagon on Monday because of space in my apartment and it was a steal at 85 dollars from petsmart, normally it's about 275. If I didn't go with the clam could I do another two to 3 inch fish or is this pushing the limits of the tank? If so, what would you suggest?

 

Based on what I've read I'm going to cycle the tank for the next 6 weeks, add live rock, 2 weeks later add the coral, then 2 weeks later add the fish?

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.

Do you have a reef-specific resource you're using to help with your setup?  It sounds like you're proceeding along normal freshwater lines rather than gearing up a reef.

 

1)  Add sand and rock - one or both should actually be live-from-the-ocean.  If not you're in for a much tougher/longer journey, so make sure you are prepared.

2)  Depending on the condition of the rock, if it's pretty clean you may also be able to add some corals here at the same time you add the lights. Thanks to their symbionts, corals will make use of the same nutrients a plants, including pretty much all forms of nitrogen. If it's particularly dirty, then you may want to pre-clean it a little OR allow some time for ammonia/nitrates to cycle through.

3)  CUC are usualy added about this time as well so they can get working on any new algae before it grows too big for them.

4)  If all is well in a month or two, then I'd start slowly adding fish 1 or 2 at a time.  The fewer you add at once, the better.  The more time in between fish additions, the better.  I'd shoot for a month in between.

5) During the wait in between fish, you might choose to add more coral or beef up your CUC if it's warranted.

 

This kind of stocking plan will reduce nutrient spikes, maximize system stability and give corals and fish their best chance.  Just don't forget to become very familiar with the coral and fish you decide on BEFORE you go out and purchase them.

 

On 11/28/2018 at 1:48 AM, seabass said:

For the longest time I kept two clownfish and a Benny in a 100 gallon tank.

@Sluglife2017This is a good example to keep in mind....I stock fish at an even lower rate...usually zero.  :)   I've always been more into coral and fish have always been harder to take care of AND more expensive.

 

It's fine to go the other way have have a tank absolutely busy with fish as long as you're ready for it and know what you're doing.  But it's much harder than a lightly stocked tank.  (Coral and inverts don't really count as bio-load like fish, so at least in terms of nutrient loading there's almost no limit on how many you can keep.)

 

On 11/28/2018 at 2:02 AM, Sluglife2017 said:

Thank you Seabass. Yeah I'll have to do more research regarding how corals photosynthesize verses algae photosynthesis. I know the LEDs have both blue and red spectrum lighting, but the compact fluorescents are mostly blue. How strong of a light does coral need? I have fixtures of both starting at 50 watts up to 300 watts-viparspectra 300.

Seawater absorbs and refracts longer light wavelengths almost completely after the topmost layer of seawater, so red emitters should be zero or near-zero on your LED.  LED makers include then because added red and green emitters are what allows them to call a reef light "full spectrum".  Red and green emitters are decorative, not really useful...they probably "add color" to corals in systems that aren't run optimally to color up corals naturally.  If they make up too much of the light (red in particular) they can actually cause problems.  All you need in a reef light in terms of color are 3-5 blue LED's in the actinic range (about 450-470nm) for every 1 high-kelvin white LED and you'll be set. 

On 11/28/2018 at 2:25 PM, Sluglife2017 said:

I've purchased  a macegrow Led Aquarium Light-Aqua Knight 30W Touch Control Aquarium. More I read though it seems this won't be enough light for coral growth. I need about 70 more watts of power based on my tank size from your recommendation.

It would be great if you had a light meter.  Takes the guesswork out of it.   Since we're guessing, I'll say that light may have been fine as long as the light was close to the water.   I used to run 48 watts over a 19" deep x 12x18" footprint SPS tank and everything did great.

 

With a light meter like the LX-1010B that I use (<$15 from most big online retailers) you'd have been able to take a sample from that light, see what it would take (if it would do it) to get >10,000 lux right at the tank's surface.  With that you'd be fine for almost all corals you'll find for sale in the hobby.  If you could get >30,000 lux at the water surface, you'd be find for clams too.

 

My Beginner’s Lux article has some more info.

On 11/28/2018 at 7:21 PM, Sluglife2017 said:

Hi Seabass, thank you for your input. Could you give me your opinion HIPARGERO LED Aquarium Light - LED Aquarium Lights 65W Saltwater Lighting with RF Remote Control and 3W/5W Cree Chips for 12-24 Inch for Coral Reef Fish Marine Tank. 

I bought the 30watt at a really good price so it's really not worth returning. Could the above light be enough between the two for the clam and BTA? Also I've gotten feed back that the penguin filter isn't needed, but dont I need a mechanical filter even with live rock?

Hard to believe as easy as returns to Amazon are that it really wouldn't be worthwhile.  There's not good reason to run multiple lights in one spot, so return is definitely what I'd do unless you have plans for another tank.

 

As for the new light, same set of tests with a lux meter will tell you how good/bad off you are with it.   Almost forgot to mention, you can also download a free lux meter app to your smartphone....there are tons of them available so it's a nice place to start.  They do not work as well and aren't as handy as a a cheap handheld unit.  (For one thing I don't like waving my phone around over my tank if I don't have to.....one false move...!!!  :D)

 

On 11/29/2018 at 4:32 PM, Sluglife2017 said:

Hi Seabass,

 Are there specific corals that do a better job of filtering the bio load than others? If I just ran the protein skimmer should I add more live rock than the 15 pounds?

Bigger corals use more nutrients than smaller ones.   

 

Corals that don't eat (much) use more nutrients than corals that feed a lot on particulates.

 

Corals that have a stable water temperature and pH consume more nutrients than corals in a less stable situation.

 

Something to consider:   

Remember that your nutrient control really happens during stocking.  If you have too many fish, you will have to feed too much.  Mopping up detritus and excess dissolved nutrients after the fact will be a losing battle (to algae) in the long run unless you really know what you're doing.

 

Herbivores are what predominantly controls the algae on most wild reefs....not always an easy thing to duplicate at home where sometime YOU are the main cleanup crew member.  Wild reefs that lose their CUC almost always end up overgrown with algae not at all unlike how out reef tanks often end up.

 

On 11/29/2018 at 5:51 PM, Sluglife2017 said:

Hi Clown79 and HookedonAquariums,

 Thank you for your responses. I've realized that I need to return the penguin filter because it's not practical for me to have it run in the middle of the tank. It's the only way it fits since the sides of the hexagon width aren't bigger than 8 inches or so.

I'm definitely not gungho about the clam, I just remember seeing them in Thailand and they are beautiful. I'm definitely more into the bubble tip anemone for the clowns since they are my foundational fish. I'll run both the macegrow and the hipargero and I think the two of them together should do the trick. Won't the shrimp, crabs, and snails munch up any macroalgae?

 

Hi Seabass,

 I think I was confusing the carbon cycle with the nitrogen cycle when I wrote that. 

 

The main contributions from a power filter would be flow in the tank and eyesore on top of the tank.  Just replace it with a quality, appropriately sized powerhead. :)

 

Depending on your light tests, the clam is probably a better bet than an anemone.  BTA's and RBTA's can get as big as your tank, can walk around and kill corals, just reach out with tentacles and kill coral...and even capture and kill other fish in the tank.

 

Your clowns will "host" in anything, from a wall of the tank, to a piece of liverock or slate, to an LPS coral....and just about anything else.   A clown does not need an anemone, or even a live host, so this is fine.  :)

 

15 hours ago, Sluglife2017 said:

I'm going to use dry rock and Instant Ocean BIO-Spira Water Treatment for Aquariums to add bacteria. I have run into a snag, I cant use hang on the back mechanical filters. So I'm wondering if you guys can help me out. Should I spend the money on a nice protein skimmer or a mechanical filter. See the attached photo.

15439054975425091006642752241403.jpg

Dead rock and a bottle of bacterial is not the same thing as live rock.  Not even similar. 

 

Bottled bacterial and dead rock is just like a bag of dead gravel and a bottle of bacteria in a freshwater tank.  It's good for (de)nitrification.

 

As you will note from reading the bottle of bacteria that you mentioned, it is used to get around the 6 week cycle you've been talking about.   Use it to "instantly" cycle a tank.  It works too.

 

But it DOES NOT do anything else that live rock does in terms of giving the tank a competent, complex and balanced ecosystem of microbes.  This is what makes reefs stable once they mature.

 

Without real live rock, wild corals are the only real place you'll get a GOOD dose of these microbes...if that doesn't happen before the major livestock goes in, things are much more often to balance as the tank grows in.

 

Post if you try out any of the lux meter options!  Feel free to PM me about it if you want.

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4 hours ago, Sluglife2017 said:

Unfortunately I tried a couple different hang on the back filters and thespacing between te back and the small rectangle is too big or too small in some cases. Another issue I have is that the rectangle itself is only 1.75 inches in width so the water flows onto the top. I've decided to go with AQUATOP MR-20 Multimedia Reactor with Pump for mechanical filtration. 

I'd be hesitant to set up any extra filtration aside from the rock, sand and corals in the tank UNTIL the corals have stabilized and settled in.   Even then, added filtration may or may not ever be needed, so don't assume it's necessary.  Certainly not until you add fish and start feeding the tank, but possibly not even then.   (Don't start feeding the tank without some fish to feed either. :))

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