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MoJal

The SEA-cret garden - starting a 40g breeder

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ValerieR

I hooked my RO unit to the main sink hookups/water line shutoffs under my bathroom sink. The 1 gal reservoir fits under there too. I drilled the waste water right into the drain. I mounted their little RO tap under there, and put in a splitter for a 20' RO hose line with a shutoff at the end. When my ATOs are low, out comes the hose, top them off, no lugging jugs around. When I make salt water, I make it in the bathroom, so I can use the RO tap or the hose line. 

 

Might be worth considering. It's been a  really handy setup for me. 

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MoJal

Aaand my cannister started leaking. I need the idiot's guide to plumbing.

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WV Reefer
12 minutes ago, MollyJane22 said:

Aaand my cannister started leaking. I need the idiot's guide to plumbing.

Oh no! 

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MoJal
7 minutes ago, WV Reefer said:

Oh no! 

We're going to assume it was just user error. I took the top off and put it back on and it's behaving itself now. Guessing it just didn't seal properly. It had passed two leak tests.

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WV Reefer
2 minutes ago, MollyJane22 said:

We're going to assume it was just user error. I took the top off and put it back on and it's behaving itself now. Guessing it just didn't seal properly. It had passed two leak tests.

 

Ok good.....I  always had eheim canisters and they would leak if the seal/ring wasn’t seated correctly. 

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MoJal

Looking more like a barren wasteland in there than a garden.  But I started dosing ammonia yesterday, so the cycle begins! And nothing is leaking! Gotta go in and fix my rocks where I knocked them over putting the water in. 

IMG_20190924_080716137_HDR.jpg

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Wallyg

my tank was dry at the time. It is supposed to work underwater.

 

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Wonderboy

I had fun reading your progress, which is fantastic so far - tagging along  :]

 

When using cyanoacrylate underwater, you will need to prepare a very copious amount -on usually your finger-, apply vigorously on both surfaces to be bonded and then rub the surfaces together firmly - then hold steady for >1 minute.

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MoJal

Ammonia is not budging from 2.0 so far. 😒 I'm assuming I shouldn't dose more? Maybe add another bottle of bacteria? I did Tim's One and Only shortly after dosing the ammonia.

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MoJal
50 minutes ago, MollyJane22 said:

Ammonia is not budging from 2.0 so far. 😒 I'm assuming I shouldn't dose more? Maybe add another bottle of bacteria? I did Tim's One and Only shortly after dosing the ammonia.

Some more info:

 

Temp, 81f (is this too hot? This is where it sits during the day, assuming my thermometer is working properly. )

Salinity: 1.024

Not running anything in the cannister right now. Will add a sponge or floss when I get around to buying one. 🤣

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Wonderboy
4 hours ago, MollyJane22 said:

I'm assuming I shouldn't dose more? Maybe add another bottle of bacteria?

Yes, stop until it is near 0 - I don't think you need more bacteria, just time.

 

3 hours ago, MollyJane22 said:

Temp, 81f (is this too hot?

That temperature is fine, a few things to keep in mind: the higher your riding temperature, the less buffer there is if temperature goes even higher from there (for many reasons). The higher your riding temperture, the further the temperature can plummet if your electricity/heating device fails. It's usually preferred to try to acheive the lowest, consistent riding temperature possible. That said, I run at around 80 - 82F, but if there is something you can do to lower it, go for it because it will lower all metabolisms and therefore allow you more time to respond to circumstances in the end. 

 

3 hours ago, MollyJane22 said:

Not running anything in the cannister right now

I would suggest that you keep it like that - no media - use strictly for flow. Actually, you could put carbon in there - then you would only have to open the canister and replace that every 5 months or so.

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MoJal
4 hours ago, Wonderboy said:

Yes, stop until it is near 0 - I don't think you need more bacteria, just time.

 

That temperature is fine, a few things to keep in mind: the higher your riding temperature, the less buffer there is if temperature goes even higher from there (for many reasons). The higher your riding temperture, the further the temperature can plummet if your electricity/heating device fails. It's usually preferred to try to acheive the lowest, consistent riding temperature possible. That said, I run at around 80 - 82F, but if there is something you can do to lower it, go for it because it will lower all metabolisms and therefore allow you more time to respond to circumstances in the end. 

 

I would suggest that you keep it like that - no media - use strictly for flow. Actually, you could put carbon in there - then you would only have to open the canister and replace that every 5 months or so.

Thanks for taking the time to respond to everything. I'll hang tight, then, and wait for things to do their thing. 

 

On temp, I have some weather proofing tasks on the agenda for that room to hopefully help keep room temp down in there, so I'm thinking that should help lower the tank temp. Also winter is coming so that will help buy me some time while I look into options like swapping to screen top. Might get another thermometer though. I'm not yet convinced this one is accurate. 

 

I've considered keeping the cannister empty, honestly, and only adding something to it if needed. Would rather keep things simple to start at least. Fewer things to screw up. 🤣

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MoJal

Making some slow progress now. Ammonia is falling to 1.0, Nitrites rising to 2.0 and nitrates at 20ppm. Rearranged my rocks but still not super happy with their placement yet. 

IMG_20190930_084313465.jpg

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MoJal

So I have a few questions on cycling. It's going well, so far and the ammonia is being consumed about every other day now. Still waiting on the nitrites to fall. Once they do, do I need to add some form of life right away? Or can I just keep dosing ammonia until I'm ready to add live stock? What happens if I stop dosing ammonia - would the bacteria die off? Not sure if these are dumb questions, but just what I've been thinking about.

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Wonderboy

Your thoughts are right on par - typically, it is a good idea to introduce life so that there is something producing/dosing ammonia for you. When nitrites start to fall, nitrates will start to go up (somethimes this will go over a comfortable amount and a WC or form of nutrient removal should be employed. It is not unreasonable to continue dosing ammonia before adding livestock in order to keep a well established bacteria population - I have done this for introductions of multiple fish (shoals); just make sure that the system is able to convert the ammonia to nitrate overnight. You're correct that the bacteria would die off without an ammonia input, but it would probably take quite a while for that to be an issue, especially for small introductions. Once it is cycled, it will probably be just fine maintaining itself until an addition - which is probably going to be something that eats the type of algae that you see first make an appearance. I theorize that if you were to dose ammonia indefinitely without introducing particular life (CUC), the system will produce some assortment of not-so-welcome algaes. Balance is the name of the game, so it's up to us to make sure that one input isn't heavier than it's outputs - and vice versa.

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MoJal

I'm thinking I'm finally happy with the rock scape. It's been like this for a couple of days without me feeling the need to fiddle with it. We'll see though.

 

A few more questions: Should I find a source for copepods or is there any chance of them having ridden in on my live sand and surviving the cycling process? Secondly, seems like clowns are often kept in pairs. I'm considering just keeping one (along with other types of fish that are TBD). Is there any reason I shouldn't? I don't really want to breed them, so there doesn't seem much point in putting them through spawning when i don't plan on raising the fry. 

IMG_20191005_083220798_HDR.jpg

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MoJal

Nitrites have been off the charts for several days (high). I've read that some people hit a stall around this point in the cycle and get some good results with a substantial water change. So I'm going to give it a shot. Figure it can't hurt and might help. Getting my workout in today and changing out about two thirds of my water to help bring the nitrites down and give the bacteria a better shot at managing the rest. Will let you guys know how it goes.

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PaigeTX

Your scape looks great! I'm following to see the answers to your questions -I'm also cycling my tank and you're asking the same things I've been thinking about regarding livestock. 

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MoJal

Finished putting in new water yesterday, and tested once the dust had settled. The Nitrites read about 1ppm after the water change. This afternoon they came out at 0!! Ammonia is curiously sitting at .25ppm though, despite not dosing anything for a few days, but that might just be due to poor testing (aka not using a timer. Will use one for future tests to ensure accuracy). 

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MoJal

Tank is officially cycled! Will be adding the first fish and a handful of clean up crew this weekend! No visible signs of algea yet, but I'm sure it will show right up once the lights come on and I'm learning how much to feed the fish. Planning to add a few ceriths, possibly a hermit crab or two, and an ocellaris clown. 

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MoJal

We have a resident! Not winning any awards with my photography skills, but here he is!

IMG_20191019_182745737.jpg

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MoJal

New guy is settling in nicely. No signs of serious distress or disease, and I just got him to eat for the first time!  

IMG_20191021_154806913.jpg

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