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Dantrasy

CB600 Reef Tank

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Filled the tank yesterday and let it run overnight. Everything is ok. 

 

This morning I worked out the total volume to be 143L or 37.7gal. Added 5kg of salt (https://equaria.com.au/products/mixedmacroprobioticsalt22kg) to 1.026. Checked with a calibrated refractometer a couple hours later and it was correct. 

 

I got the mp10 going to aid with mixing. The water looks pretty clear now. 

 

Added some bagged marine pure balls to the sump. Should I add anything else at this very early stage? Carbon? 

 

I’ll add the ammonium when I get home tonight and the bacteria. 

 

 

 

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No carbon at this point,  just let the cycle do it's thing. 

 

I have to say, great looking scape!

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Thanks Justin!

 

After adding 35 drops of Dr Tim's ammonium I waited a few hours and tested it with my Salifert ammonia kit. It showed zero? I thought maybe it's off the scale. So I tested again with 1/3 rodi water and 2/3 tank water. Same thing occurred, I got zero. The solution in the vile turned a cloudy white both times. 

 

So I tested a third time with an ancient (10+ years) api fresh water ammonia kit I still had in a cupboard. It turned Kermit the frog green, indicating something between 2ppm and 4ppm (it should be 2ppm according to the dose amount).

 

I know the ammonia must be in there, strange the Salifert kit didn't pick it up. Maybe it's too warm in the house? 

 

Anyway, I added the Stability (19ml). I'm in no rush.

 

 

 

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On 2/1/2019 at 12:05 PM, Dantrasy said:

Thanks Justin!

 

After adding 35 drops of Dr Tim's ammonium I waited a few hours and tested it with my Salifert ammonia kit. It showed zero? I thought maybe it's off the scale. So I tested again with 1/3 rodi water and 2/3 tank water. Same thing occurred, I got zero. The solution in the vile turned a cloudy white both times. 

 

So I tested a third time with an ancient (10+ years) api fresh water ammonia kit I still had in a cupboard. It turned Kermit the frog green, indicating something between 2ppm and 4ppm (it should be 2ppm according to the dose amount).

 

I know the ammonia must be in there, strange the Salifert kit didn't pick it up. Maybe it's too warm in the house? 

 

Anyway, I added the Stability (19ml). I'm in no rush.

 

 

 

Funny thing, I recently had the same experience with salifert ammonia kit reading zero but api kit reading 2-4ppm. Strange. 

 

Imo let it cycle as long as you can be patient for. 2+ months ideally

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@Fragmental I’ve been searching around for an answer. Could be Salifert detects ammonia NH3 but is not so good at detecting ammonium NH4+. Dr Tim’s product is ammonium chloride. 

 

During my search I also came across the Dr Tim’s ammonium lable debarkle. The lable used to say 1 drop per gal, but on Nov 1 2016 it changed to 4 drops per gal. However Some of the new 4 drop labeled bottles were filled with 1 drop solution, so people way overdosed and got upset about it.

 

I bring this up because I think I have the opposite issue. My bottle of dr Tim’s has 1 drop per gal written on it. But it’s a modern bottle, surely it should have 4 drops written on it.  I got a new api test kit to be sure. Turns out the 35 drops (1 per gal as per instructions) gave me 0.5ppm. Just a quarter of the way to 2ppm.

 

0.5ppm isn’t going to establish much of a colony. So today I added another 35 drops. Several hours later and it’s greener, more like 1ppm. 

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On 1/26/2019 at 9:54 PM, Dantrasy said:

Just using Seachem Stability. I wanted to use Dr Tim’s one and only, but I had a voucher that had to be used, and that store sold Stabilty. 

 

The ammonium is Dr Tim’s, I’ve never used it before. Aqua soil leaches huge amounts of ammonia, so I’ve never had to worry about this before. Dr Tim’s says 1 drop per gal to get 2ppm. So that’s about 35 drops. 2ppm seems a bit high to me, so I’ll go for about 26 drops to reach approx 1.5ppm. Then dose stability as per bottle instructions. Something will happen. 

On 1/31/2019 at 8:05 PM, Dantrasy said:

Thanks Justin!

 

After adding 35 drops of Dr Tim's ammonium I waited a few hours and tested it with my Salifert ammonia kit. It showed zero? I thought maybe it's off the scale. So I tested again with 1/3 rodi water and 2/3 tank water. Same thing occurred, I got zero. The solution in the vile turned a cloudy white both times. 

 

So I tested a third time with an ancient (10+ years) api fresh water ammonia kit I still had in a cupboard. It turned Kermit the frog green, indicating something between 2ppm and 4ppm (it should be 2ppm according to the dose amount).

 

I know the ammonia must be in there, strange the Salifert kit didn't pick it up. Maybe it's too warm in the house? 

 

Anyway, I added the Stability (19ml). I'm in no rush.

 

 

 

 

Chiming in here a bit late to say... I too have had issues dosing exactly with Dr. Tim's ammonia bottles. Kinda a headache... I dosed too little then overdosed it. I've had more success eyeballing with Ace Hardware ammonia xD

 

I'm sure you'll get this sorted out though.

 

Also chiming in to say, I think the hardscape looks awesomely impressive. It was super cool seeing the old planted scapes, thanks for adding them in 🙂 your talent comes through with the new setup too 🙂

 

Good luck and I look forward to seeing this shape up even further!

 

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7 hours ago, Dantrasy said:

@Fragmental I’ve been searching around for an answer. Could be Salifert detects ammonia NH3 but is not so good at detecting ammonium NH4+. Dr Tim’s product is ammonium chloride. 

 

During my search I also came across the Dr Tim’s ammonium lable debarkle. The lable used to say 1 drop per gal, but on Nov 1 2016 it changed to 4 drops per gal. However Some of the new 4 drop labeled bottles were filled with 1 drop solution, so people way overdosed and got upset about it.

 

I bring this up because I think I have the opposite issue. My bottle of dr Tim’s has 1 drop per gal written on it. But it’s a modern bottle, surely it should have 4 drops written on it.  I got a new api test kit to be sure. Turns out the 35 drops (1 per gal as per instructions) gave me 0.5ppm. Just a quarter of the way to 2ppm.

 

0.5ppm isn’t going to establish much of a colony. So today I added another 35 drops. Several hours later and it’s greener, more like 1ppm. 

The Salifert test claims to test total ammonia-N, both NH3 and NH4+, so I'm not too sure what is going on. It's the test kit Dr Tim sells on his website lol... 

 

Was unaware about the label debarkle, though I don't recall it being an issue for the bottle I have

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It’s day 9 of the cycle. Ammonia is stable at approx 1.5ppm, but no nitrites have appeared. The course of Seachem Stability finished a couple days ago. Nitrates show up to be approx 15ppm.

 

All my fresh water cycles using Stability have shown nitrites after just a few days. I wonder what’s going on here. 

 

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I’m a right in thinking the type of bacteria that produces nitrites likes low flow areas to grow? If so, should I turn off the mp10 and/or turn down the return pump? At present water movement (display and sump) is what I regard high. 

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Ok, nitrites appeared today (day 10). So things are on track. 

 

My thoughts have turned to stocking...

 

CUC

x1 Peppermint shrimp

x1 Red leg hermit crab

x4 Turbo snails

 

I'm cycling without the lights, so there will be little to no diatoms when the cuc goes in. So I’ll need to feed them something. I'll research that. 

 

Fish

x2 Ocelaris clownfish 

x1 something? 

x1 something?

 

I welcome any advice. Thanks. 

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7 hours ago, Dantrasy said:

Ok, nitrites appeared today (day 10). So things are on track. 

 

My thoughts have turned to stocking...

 

CUC

x1 Peppermint shrimp

x1 Red leg hermit crab

x4 Turbo snails

 

I'm cycling without the lights, so there will be little to no diatoms when the cuc goes in. So I’ll need to feed them something. I research that. 

 

Fish

x2 Ocelaris clownfish 

x1 something? 

x1 something?

 

I welcome any advice. Thanks. 

I'd look into getting a wrasse for one of the two fish you are deciding on. A 6 line will help with just about all invert hitchhikers, and they are very active. A fairy or flasher wrasse isn't as good as a 6 line in scavenging for pests, but they have some amazing colors and there are some species that can work in a 120L. Possum wrasses are also cool, check out the tanaka's possum wrasse.

The other fish I'd get would be a blenny. I'd recommend a midas blenny just because they look cool. 😄

 

You can also get a couple cool inverts in your tank as well. They don't increase the bioload nearly as much as a fish would. Some of my favorite inverts are the skunk cleaner shrimp, pom pom crab, tridacna clams (a little hard to maintain when small), and pistol shrimps (maybe you can pair it with a goby). 

 

Also if you are buying a peppermint shrimp (Lysmata wurdemanni), make sure it's the right species. Some people buy the wrong one, not knowing that it can eat corals. Here's a helpful guide:

 

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Thanks a lot Joevember!

 

I'll stick with the cuc listed above for now. The skunk cleaner shrimp is about x10 more expensive here in Australia compared to the Peppermint. I'll hold off buying anything $100+ until I'm sure everything is ok and stable.

 

As for fish, I'm up to 5:

x2 Ocellaris clownfish 

x1 Bicolour blenny or Midas blenny

x1 Six line wrasse

x1 Pygmy angelfish

 

 

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Just now, Dantrasy said:

Thanks a lot Joevember!

 

I'll stick with the cuc listed above for now. The skunk cleaner shrimp is about x10 more expensive here in Australia compared to the Peppermint. I'll hold off buying anything $100+ until I'm sure everything is ok and stable.

 

As for fish, I'm up to 5:

x2 Ocellaris clownfish 

x1 Bicolour blenny or Midas blenny

x1 Six line wrasse

x1 Pygmy angelfish

 

 

Nice list! Excited to see how they will look swimming around in there! 😄

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On 2/9/2019 at 6:40 PM, Dantrasy said:

Ok, nitrites appeared today (day 10). So things are on track. 

 

My thoughts have turned to stocking...

 

CUC

x1 Peppermint shrimp

x1 Red leg hermit crab

x4 Turbo snails

 

I'm cycling without the lights, so there will be little to no diatoms when the cuc goes in. So I’ll need to feed them something. I'll research that. 

 

Fish

x2 Ocelaris clownfish 

x1 something? 

x1 something?

 

I welcome any advice. Thanks. 

The lack of nitrite could have been a symptom of the cycle dynamics, as long as you are reading nitrates then by deductive logic nitrites are being produced even if undetectable, but good to hear the cycle is underway.

 

With stocking inverts it's a bit of personal preference. +1 for making sure you get the correct species of peppermint shrimp. For me, in small tanks I like to keep turbo snails, porcelain crabs, brittle stars, spotted linckia stars, stomotella snails, cerith snails, small clams, and pods. Hermits and shrimps like to steal food from the corals and some larger shrimps (CBS)  may pick on small fish.

 

In terms of your fish selection, clowns are great if you choose smaller peaceful species (ocellaris, percula). Pygmy/dwarf angels with caution. Blennys with caution. Six line wrasse with caution. All are not completely reef safe, depending on your definition of reef safe. Six line wrasse will be the most appropriate out of these, and as mentioned help with pest hitchhiker control. But add it last if you do, they can be pricks to other small benthic fish and ornamental inverts. 

 

Some fish I would consider are Tomini tang (or even at a stretch a Kole tang), twinspot goby, azure damselfish, rainfords goby, flasher wrasses, small fairy wrasses, reef dwelling pipefishes, scooter dragonets, firefish, cardinalfishes. This is not an exhaustive list but are commonly available in Aus. If you have plans to upgrade or can strike a deal with another reefer for future trades, you could consider juveniles of some of the larger species within these groups. 

 

Let me know what you think. 

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On 1/29/2019 at 1:35 AM, Dantrasy said:

This is the finished scape. I have to work out how to improve the picture quality, it's so grainy.

 

I'll fill tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

 

Holy cow, this is a nice setup!

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13 hours ago, Fragmental said:

The lack of nitrite could have been a symptom of the cycle dynamics, as long as you are reading nitrates then by deductive logic nitrites are being produced even if undetectable, but good to hear the cycle is underway.

Yes, that makes perfect sense. I guess the Salifert nitrate test is more sensitive than the API nitrite test.

 

Quote

 

With stocking inverts it's a bit of personal preference. +1 for making sure you get the correct species of peppermint shrimp. For me, in small tanks I like to keep turbo snails, porcelain crabs, brittle stars, spotted linckia stars, stomotella snails, cerith snails, small clams, and pods. Hermits and shrimps like to steal food from the corals and some larger shrimps (CBS)  may pick on small fish.

 

I'll be sure to check. 😃 I've seen videos where people place plastic cups over the coral to give them a chance to eat. I'll do that if fish interfere.

 

Quote

 

In terms of your fish selection, clowns are great if you choose smaller peaceful species (ocellaris, percula).Pygmy/dwarf angels with caution. Blennys with caution. Six line wrasse with caution. All are not completely reef safe, depending on your definition of reef safe. Six line wrasse will be the most appropriate out of these, and as mentioned help with pest hitchhiker control. But add it last if you do, they can be pricks to other small benthic fish and ornamental inverts. 

Yes, x2 ocellaris are on the list, as is x1 6 line wrasse. 

 

I good friend is setting up a 4ft atm. So I could pass fish on as them outgrow my 2ft tank. I also have a good relationship with the guy who made the overflow/sump (10 years ago I was his tutor at uni).  He has offered me some free corals once the tank is ready.

Quote

 

Some fish I would consider are Tomini tang (or even at a stretch a Kole tang), twinspot goby, azure damselfish, rainfords goby, flasher wrasses, small fairy wrasses, reef dwelling pipefishes, scooter dragonets, firefish, cardinalfishes. This is not an exhaustive list but are commonly available in Aus. If you have plans to upgrade or can strike a deal with another reefer for future trades, you could consider juveniles of some of the larger species within these groups. 

 

Let me know what you think. 

 

Great list thanks. Many of them look very appealing, especially the Tomini tang and Firefish. Perhaps I should get once of each? And x2 ocellaris and x1 6 line wrasse.

 

@Fragmental - I'm sure your familiar with the store Reef Secrets. They have a sister store here in WA (probably one in VIC too?), only issue is that it's 70km+ away from me.

 

I've recently become aware of a guy who runs a coral/fish business from his home, The Coral and Fish Barn. It's a big setup. He has a license to collect from the Abrolhos Islands (WA's coral coast). I'll visit soon, it's pretty close to where I live. This is a pic of the place I found:

 

40521499_10160810983050113_701071162448281600_o.jpg.eabbbaefc705b7a6717e1b834455674b.jpg

 

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thats a beautiful setup

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51 minutes ago, Dantrasy said:

Yes, that makes perfect sense. I guess the Salifert nitrate test is more sensitive than the API nitrite test.

 

 

I'll be sure to check. 😃 I've seen videos where people place plastic cups over the coral to give them a chance to eat. I'll do that if fish interfere.

 

Yes, x2 ocellaris are on the list, as is x1 6 line wrasse. 

 

I good friend is setting up a 4ft atm. So I could pass fish on as them outgrow my 2ft tank. I also have a good relationship with the guy who made the overflow/sump (10 years ago I was his tutor at uni).  He has offered me some free corals once the tank is ready.

 

Great list thanks. Many of them look very appealing, especially the Tomini tang and Firefish. Perhaps I should get once of each? And x2 ocellaris and x1 6 line wrasse.

 

@Fragmental - I'm sure your familiar with the store Reef Secrets. They have a sister store here in WA (probably one in VIC too?), only issue is that it's 70km+ away from me.

 

I've recently become aware of a guy who runs a coral/fish business from his home, The Coral and Fish Barn. It's a big setup. He has a license to collect from the Abrolhos Islands (WA's coral coast). I'll visit soon, it's pretty close to where I live. This is a pic of the place I found:

 

40521499_10160810983050113_701071162448281600_o.jpg.eabbbaefc705b7a6717e1b834455674b.jpg

 

No worries mate. Yea I know reefsecrets. Tangs are work horses, aslong as you have a future plan for them they're great. 

 

I'm lucky as I'm the senior aquarist at Williamstown Aquarium in Melbourne. So have almost unlimited options for my tanks. Check us out if you'd like. We have a pretty active facebook page. We stock local and import internationally, we can also arrange shipping. 🐠 

 

It's always good to support locals, so your options sound great. But if there's something special you're after I'm sure we have access to it

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Thanks Cutter79!

 

Yesterday I made a tank cover frame. I ordered some netting off eBay too, the BRS type. I won't need it for a while, but soon I'll be back to work and will have much less time to do all this stuff.

 

20190213_171122.jpg

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About heaters, I’ve done a bit reading. The Cobalt neo-therm gets good reviews. I believe it sells in Australia under the Aquael Ultra brand/model name.

 

The 150w is 27.5cm in length and my measurements tell me it won’t fit in chamber 2.

 

The 100w is 21cm and would easily fit. But is 100w enough for 37gal marine?

 

I haven’t used heaters on my planted tanks for years, so I’m not too sure about this. 

 

The coldest days in winter the house get down to 16 degrees C  (61 F). That’s rare. Right now, a summers evening, with no heater the tank is 25 degrees C. 

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I use a 100w aqueon heater in a 40 gallon and it keeps the temp right at 78-79°. Room temp in the winter stays about 64°

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If they’ll fit you could always try 2 smaller heaters to get the wattage you’re comfortable/confident with.  Adds extra security as well in case of failure, unlikely but always possible.  

 

Great work so far as well!

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Ok, thanks for the comments. 

 

x2 75w might the best option (if only for peace of mind), but it”s expensive. 

 

After reading some more I think the heat from the x4 T5ho’s and return pump etc, coupled with a 100w heater should do the trick. I live in a warm part of the world after all. 

 

I just find it strange how different manufactures rate the same wattage so differently. Eg neo therm (aka aquael ultra) 100w is rated for 100L max, while the eheim 100w is rated for 150L max. Perhaps the neo therm is based on a temp increase of 5 degrees C, while the eheim is based on an increase of 10 degrees C? 

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