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JulieReefer

👋🏻 hello! This is my first saltwater tank, and with not much of an aquarium culture in my little mountain town, I’m hoping to share and learn with some other obsessed aquarists! I’ve got a nice 55 gal South American freshwater planted tank that’s been going great for about 2 years. I got this biocube 29 used with all of the stock equipment, but have upgraded to the following

 

-eheim 100 watt heater

-inkbird temp controller

-duetto ATO

-IM wavelink wave maker

-stock skimmer

-dry rock from Bulk Reef Supply

-inTank media basket with filter floss and bio media plate pieces

-stock lighting (for now)

 

I’m just now cycling, entering week 2, so feeding and testing for ammonia/nitrites. I seeded with seachem stability. Running with lights off. I will run a small Refugium with chaeto in the back sump when I get some nitrates and phosphates going.

 

Would love to hear advice or encouragement! Thanks for letting me join the forum 👍🏻

 

Ps follow me on Twitter @JulieReefer

 

 

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JulieReefer

One big thing I’m shopping for is an RODI unit. If anyone’s got one for sale please let me know! I pump water at a friends house with RODI for now. I have pretty high TDS so probably looking for 75 gpd at least. Thanks!

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WV Reefer
24 minutes ago, JulieReefer said:

👋🏻 hello! This is my first saltwater tank, and with not much of an aquarium culture in my little mountain town, I’m hoping to share and learn with some other obsessed aquarists! I’ve got a nice 55 gal South American freshwater planted tank that’s been going great for about 2 years. I got this biocube 29 used with all of the stock equipment, but have upgraded to the following

 

-eheim 100 watt heater

-inkbird temp controller

-duetto ATO

-IM wavelink wave maker

-stock skimmer

-dry rock from Bulk Reef Supply

-inTank media basket with filter floss and bio media plate pieces

-stock lighting (for now)

 

I’m just now cycling, entering week 2, so feeding and testing for ammonia/nitrites. I seeded with seachem stability. Running with lights off. I will run a small Refugium with chaeto in the back sump when I get some nitrates and phosphates going.

 

Would love to hear advice or encouragement! Thanks for letting me join the forum 👍🏻

 

Ps follow me on Twitter @JulieReefer

 

 

04D448C4-7DB2-43C5-AF42-B666C0F0C594.jpeg

D474074A-C1F6-4F62-A587-BFD56EEC6F26.jpeg

Welcome to NR! 😊

 

Tank looks good so far. I like the FW tank also. 

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KISReef
22 minutes ago, JulieReefer said:

👋🏻 hello! This is my first saltwater tank, and with not much of an aquarium culture in my little mountain town, I’m hoping to share and learn with some other obsessed aquarists! I’ve got a nice 55 gal South American freshwater planted tank that’s been going great for about 2 years. I got this biocube 29 used with all of the stock equipment, but have upgraded to the following

 

-eheim 100 watt heater

-inkbird temp controller

-duetto ATO

-IM wavelink wave maker

-stock skimmer

-dry rock from Bulk Reef Supply

-inTank media basket with filter floss and bio media plate pieces

-stock lighting (for now)

 

I’m just now cycling, entering week 2, so feeding and testing for ammonia/nitrites. I seeded with seachem stability. Running with lights off. I will run a small Refugium with chaeto in the back sump when I get some nitrates and phosphates going.

 

Would love to hear advice or encouragement! Thanks for letting me join the forum 👍🏻

 

Ps follow me on Twitter @JulieReefer

 

 

04D448C4-7DB2-43C5-AF42-B666C0F0C594.jpeg

D474074A-C1F6-4F62-A587-BFD56EEC6F26.jpeg

Welcome aboard Julie. The tank is looking good. Nice aqua-scape btw. 

 

The hardest part about the hobby is staying patient and staying on top of things. Master those two things and you will have success. Looking forward to following along as you go. 

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JulieReefer

Thank you! Patience is key from what I’ve heard. Looking forward to seeing things develop.

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JulieReefer

Update. Tank finished cycling after about 4 weeks with seachem stability and ghost feeding. I’ve got two black mollies in the biocube to help mature things. I’ve got diatoms, but the mollies do a great job picking at spots of green hair algae! So no algae has taken hold. They also sift the sand! They’re popping out tiny babies, too, so having to fish them out of the back sump and keep them in a breeder box for now. 

 

Next step I hope to get some Coraline algae introduced and start running some chaeto in my refugium to see how nutrients cycle in the tank and get a water change schedule down.

 

I highly recommend mollies for new tanks!! I plan on putting them in my freshwater tank when I start stocking from my wishlist. 

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JulieReefer

Another interesting note:

 

I started running my lighting schedule and found that the stock equipment kept the tank at about 80 degrees, without the help of my heater! I have since upgraded to quieter fans (noctua nf-a6x25 flx premiums) with two pin to three pin adapters and cut some of the slots above the fans inside the hood a little wider for more airflow. 

 

Noctua NF-A6x25 FLX, 3-Pin... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B009NQMESS?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share

 

Set of 2 !! Bundle-CB-32D, 3 pin... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005FYIBJ8?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share

 

Now I can keep my tank at 78-79 degrees where I want it. You can see in the photo the new fan is visible, but the exterior of the hood is intact. 

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KISReef
3 hours ago, JulieReefer said:

Update. Tank finished cycling after about 4 weeks with seachem stability and ghost feeding. I’ve got two black mollies in the biocube to help mature things. I’ve got diatoms, but the mollies do a great job picking at spots of green hair algae! So no algae has taken hold. They also sift the sand! They’re popping out tiny babies, too, so having to fish them out of the back sump and keep them in a breeder box for now. 

 

Next step I hope to get some Coraline algae introduced and start running some chaeto in my refugium to see how nutrients cycle in the tank and get a water change schedule down.

 

I highly recommend mollies for new tanks!! I plan on putting them in my freshwater tank when I start stocking from my wishlist. 

2D140AF7-03BB-43B9-8F04-CA09D7659E38.jpeg

Sounds like you have done your research and homework. For your first saltwater aquarium I'm very impressed with your patience and execution so far. 

 

I personally think water changes will benefit you more than a refugium. You already have a skimmer, I just don't see the need for it. But, that's your call. It won't hurt, but it might not help as much as you think. I'd stick to water changes and the skimmer. Heck, you don't really need the skimmer either (but that's another story/option). It all depends on your stocking and nutrient levels in your reef.

 

Your system is still maturing, so stay patient and go slow. When you start getting complacent, that's when things start going down hill (then you're scrambling to solve this or solve that). It's a balancing act! Looks like your ready for the next phase.

The aquarium looks great! Keep up the good work. :smilie:

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FISHnChix

Just popping in to say hi and build is going good. Couple things I wish I knew when I started was: 

1.water changes are key . Do one weekly and you will be surprised at how well they work 

2. Super low nutrients isnt a good thing. Dont strive for zero nitrates and phos bc corals need some of that to grow . So a fuge and a chemical filtration should only be used if necessary. 

3. Invest in good test kits . Pay attention to alk if you have coral... alk swings are no good , quickest way to kill things imo🙂

 

 

Any how .happy reefing and good luck

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billygoat

Always great to see another aquarist turn towards the salty side 😉 Although your freshwater tank certainly looks beautiful as well!

 

I am happy to see you are off to a good start, and I look forward to following along!

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JulieReefer

Thanks everyone!! I’ll go ahead and start weekly water changes. Love the tips! Keep em coming! I’ve spent a lot of time searching this and other forums, BRS videos, etc. I know stability is important, and there is more water chemistry than what I’m used to with freshwater. 

 

i don’t plan to get corals for a few months. Hopefully things keep going well... baby steps!

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JulieReefer

Soooo. I haven’t kept in touch very well! Honestly, winter time becomes reefing time here in Montana. So much cold and darkness, maybe I get some extra vitamin D by sitting next to my reef lighting!

 

My little biocube is almost a year old. Here is how it currently looks.

 

I upgraded the stock light to a Kessil a160we I got from the buy/sell forum here. After not finding any hood mods I liked to accommodate the Kessil, I did my own by removing all of the lighting hardware and using a dremel tool to remove the center of the hood, following the seem and keeping the splashguard. I am happy with how it turned out. I can adjust the light easily to move it out of the way for weekly water changes, and my evaporation stays down with the hood. Plus no more noisy fans from the stock light!!

 

Other upgrades include the innovative marine spinning outlet nozzle, new sicce 1.5 return pump, and started using the stock skimmer about a month ago.

 

I’m finally aiming to rid the tank of hair algae by using phosban in the inTank media basket. It’s manageable, but time to step up my game and work more towards corals. I’m so intimidated to add any!

 

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JulieReefer

Livestock has been steady at

 

2 bubble tip anemones

1 mini carpet anemone

1 blood orange clown

1 strawberry basslet (purple dottyback)

1 yellow clown goby

1 bicolor blenny

2 camel back shrimp

1 red legged hermit crab who keeps murdering my snails

 

Corals (all very small)

yellow polyps

kenya tree

green Star polyps

mushroom varieties 

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