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Rudee

Nano Reef - First Timer

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Rudee

Hey y'all. I'm new to salt water and looking to start my first nano reef. I have a standard 10g long glass tank. Before I make any purchasing decisions I figured I'd post what I was planning to do here and get some advice. I'm not 100% sold on even sticking with this tank. I've read a TON of the forums and library content on this site and found it to be immensely helpful and educational. So I'm off to my LFS with my oldest daughter to get excited and just gawk and all the beautiful stuff. I'll take a break for the Super Bowl and come back with some specifics. I don't know a lot about coral but I was born in Hawaii and spent a lot of time in VA/NC so I love coastal/tropical stuff. 

 

What I would like to accomplish...

 

This tank is for me to keep me company at my desk at home. I have PTSD from the Marine Corps so I think this would be really good for me as a method of therapy (both watching it and maintaining it).

 

Since I don't know much yet I figure it's perfect or the "patience game" because I can get my system set up and start the cycle while I figure out what direction I want to go. I want a lot of color and for the focus to be the reef. If I get one fish, that would probably be the max. I am very interested in the balance of the sand and rock with the coral and cleanup crew. That will definitely be my focus for now. 

 

I need to learn more about the different types of coral because I don't even know the abbreviations yet. I DO know that I really like Zoanthids.

 

I'm an IT Engineer by day so I plan to use my strengths in digital automation to help with my project. I'm thinking about connecting my nano reef to a raspberry pi and streaming the data to a zabbix or nagios server so I can trend the levels of various measurements. That's my secondary hobby so will no doubt bleed into each other (i.e. chatbot notifications and alert thresholds).

 

Things I'm looking at / researching...

 

Lights (fluorescent or LED), how much and what kind? T5HO necessary? Is 5-8w per gallon about right?

Electric filter or natural filter? Leaning toward natural...

Heater and controller... how much is a good investment for this? Looking for stability (set and forget). So far I am looking at a 50-75w Ebo Jager or equivalent. 

Pump. Recommendations? I've noted some that have been mentioned on the forums (i.e. mini-jet) but the time span is fairly large so maybe there are some good newer ones. 

 

Saltwater... DIY with mix or do you recommend buying it premixed?

 

Off to the store! I'll let you know if I decide on a tank.

 

 

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Clown79

Welcome to Nano

 

There is a lot of info out there and researching/planning on corals before purchasing is always recommended.

 

As for lighting, t5 is not necessary, many use LEDS now, what lighting you choose will play a part in the corals you choose to keep: softies, lps, sps, nps. 

Wattage per gallon isn't often mentioned much anymore. When you deal with LEDs, the wattage Isn't the same as with fluorescents and halides

The spectrum, coverage, and par is more of a focal point.

In the lighting section there are sticky threads that really are helpful

 

There are many options out there in various budgets. All depends on if you want plug n play or fully customizable lighting schedules.

 

For filtration, that is personal choice. I always like running filter floss and carbon which require an hob filter. 

There are a few members that run no filter, some just skimmers, some run alot of equipment. It all depends on the system and how its run.

 

 

Buying a good heater is important. Jagger and neotherm are what most seem to use. The inkbird controller is great for a budget controller.

 

Powerheads/wavemaker, there are a lot of options. Mp10's, aqamai kps, tunze, jebao. Some come with controllers to allow you to customize the glow settings while others are just designed to have the same constant flow. 

 

Mixing your own SW is always better. You have control over the salt used, consistency of parameters. 

Using a refractometer is highly recommended.

 

 

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karisma

Read your post and im happy to hear your choosing a reef tank to help with  your ptsd i really hope it works for you. This is a great forum and can find an answer for almost anything you want to know.

Cheers!

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Rudee

Thanks! I'm off to a good start in the research department but it's really slowing down my actual tank build. I read so many posts from members here with the many lessons learned so I want to make sure I'm starting off with "good mistakes" haha. 

 

In the interest of not going full-bore I decided to stick with my 10g standard. I'm gonna get the heater now cause that's a pretty easy decision. I'll think a bit more on the lights and filter.

 

As far as planning goes. I have the fish picked out now:

 

Royal Gramma Basslet

Blue/Gree Reef Chromis

Firefish Goby

(Thanks for @lgreen for the list)

 

Since this is my first tank I figure I would start with beginner fish with a peaceful temperament. 

 

Feedback is always welcome.

 

Thanks again!

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Seadragon
On 2/2/2020 at 5:55 PM, Rudee said:

This tank is for me to keep me company at my desk at home. I have PTSD from the Marine Corps so I think this would be really good for me as a method of therapy (both watching it and maintaining it).

 

I understand what you mean and I hope it helps you as much as it helps many of us to relax and enjoy the simpler things in life.

 

On 2/2/2020 at 5:55 PM, Rudee said:

I'm an IT Engineer by day so I plan to use my strengths in digital automation to help with my project. I'm thinking about connecting my nano reef to a raspberry pi and streaming the data to a zabbix or nagios server so I can trend the levels of various measurements. That's my secondary hobby so will no doubt bleed into each other (i.e. chatbot notifications and alert thresholds).

 

That's very interesting.  My real job is an iOS Mobile Developer which is one of the reasons I went with the "Current USA Orbit Marine IC PRO Dual LED with Bluetooth".  It syncs with an iOS App and allows me to easily manipulate the settings and automate different tasks with my LED light.  Keep us updated on the Raspberry Pi integration, I briefly looked into it, but I didn't really study it too hard after I noticed some users were having issues/getting errors with it.  I'm currently developing a personal app that I will use to keep track of my water parameters (which I currently manually log) and have the app automatically calculate the dosing regimen to maintain calcium and alkalinity within defined ranges that the user sets.  (Perhaps I'll add a notification reminder for weekly tests.)

 

On 2/2/2020 at 5:55 PM, Rudee said:

Electric filter or natural filter? Leaning toward natural...

 

I use both.  There's many benefits that both can provide that one alone cannot.  For mechanical filtration, I have prefilters on my circulation pumps, a sponge filter in my UV Sterilizer, and Activated Carbon Media Pads in my internal filter that at the same time provides chemical filtration to remove the toxins out of the water which many corals release into the water column whether due to chemical warfare with other corals or when they get cut or injured, they may release some.  I hear even GSP (Green Star Polyps) releases toxins to hinder the growth of other corals which complements their ability to smother corals by growing over top of them.  I have biological filtration with my live rock and all of the surfaces in my tank covered with beneficial bacteria.  I even have filter feeders working 24/7 such as my Porcelain Anemone Crabs, feather dusters, corals, and countless Pineapple sponges.  Having diverse methods of filtration and biodiversity in the tank really helps to maintain a healthy reef system.

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Rudee

So after I started shopping around for system components I came to the realization that it was cheaper for me to get what I wanted in an AIO so I got a cheap Top Fin 10 gallon tall tank that already had a filter, heater, thermometer, and lid with LEDs. I can build off it for sure. I got some  CaribSea Caribbean Oolite live sand and some random live rock from the LFS. I am waiting for the water conditioner right now and then adding the salt. Then starts the fun! Wait for life to start it’s thing! 

 

With the blue LED.

 

image.jpg

 

I have about 8.5 pounds of live rock and used about 10lbs of sand. I wanted a little more sand because I'm thinking of getting a Goby+Pistol Crab combo. I "decided" that I am not 100% decided on the fish but I'd like to have some more bacteria in here for sure so that's what I did! 

 

I also have these weird horizontal lines on the inside of the tank but my daughter said she had the same thing and it went away. We'll see. I did rinse the tank out in the bath tub with no cleaning agents. Other than that, I didn't clean anything.

 

After putting the tank up and getting all the stupid glue scraped out from the inside (components that came with the tank) I rinsed it out and staged it on this desk. Then I put the filer together and got that on the back. I stuck the sand in and then added the rock. After that I added 1 gallon of tap water at a time using a pitcher and poured it over the rock so as not to disturb that sand and make a mess. Then I added water conditioner and salt. I have the filter running for now and it's not as cloudy as I thought it would be so I will probably leave it on. It does have a sponge in it to promote growth of beneficial bacteria so we shall see. 

 

I finally got a tank with water in it lol! 

 

Here's a look with the white LED. 

 

 

image.jpg

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Seadragon
48 minutes ago, Rudee said:

I added 1 gallon of tap water at a time using a pitcher and poured it over the rock so as not to disturb that sand and make a mess. Then I added water conditioner and salt.


Just a word of caution, tap water may have silicates in it that promotes brown diatom algae and other issues.  Tap water can also contain varying amounts of total dissolved solids (TDS) as well as nitrates in some cases.

 

For starting a saltwater tank or doing water changes, I would have either used filtered ocean water, distilled water with salt mixed, or RODI water with salt mixed to prevent the silicate issue.

 

For top offs due to evaporation, either distilled water or RODI water.

 

I used to use tap water for top offs early on and noticed multiple brown diatom algae blooms during that time.  After switching to distilled water, I haven’t had such issues since.

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mcarroll

Nerd out on some reef books before you get too far into this tank....most folks who start out online-only seem to be missing a lot of the basics.

 

Check out this thread for book ideas:

Chime in with your reef-oriented reading list! 

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karisma

Nice looking setup you ģot going there! I like the deep look :)

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Clown79

Set up looks good.

 

What light are you running?

 

A word of caution, tap water is really not a good source, it's full of stuff you don't want in your tank that conditioner's can't remove.

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Dirté Sanchez

That's a nice little tall tank- I bet the free swimmers you want will like having a high column like that.

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Rudee

Thanks for the comments, advice, and encouragement! When the rest of my fresh-water family is adding plants and fish and doing this and that I'm just staring at my tank full of rock and sand. I'm actually really enjoying the slow pace of this. 

 

Changes: all I've done in the first week of this tank is babysit the temperature and specific gravity level and I did a single water top-off of about 1.5 liters (tap water again with a chlorine treatment). My heater is just the crappy one that came with the AIO. It's currently set to 72 degrees Fahrenheit and I'm reading 79 degrees on my thermometer. So that's still an adjustment. I think the heater will be the first to get replaced. 

 

Constants: The filter is doing a great job moving the water and keeping the flow all the way down to the bottom. As for the lights, it's just a blue/white dual LED strip that came with the AIO that's built in to the lid, which I made sure to get to keep all the critters in without impeding the light path to as much of the tank as possible. I really wanted even coverage. I have a feeling I might have to upgrade that along the way but I can always build that myself pretty easily.

 

Recommendations I am taking to heart:

    1. I found a great LFS that has a good price on salt water so I'm going to use that from now on and stop using tap water.

    2. I've done a TON of salt-water life and hydrology reading and will continue to do so while my tank cycles.

    3. I found some schematics that I think I can use to make my own water quality monitoring system. I might actually get this in place before I add anything else to my tank. Yes, this is the super-slow approach but I'm pretty stoked to just have something with a two-tone light and a nice, deep tank with some good hiding rock structure and white sand. Sometimes I just stare at it looking for algae for half an hour.

    4. I'l post another update in a week and just check in periodically for comments or suggestions. I really appreciate it.

 

4D2ED770-E246-4F37-AA99-E6C47321783B.jpeg

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Rudee

Checking in...

 

The tank is pretty much the same as it has been. My ammonia is up to an estimated 0.25 ppm (perhaps a tad higher but not by much) and there are no signs of nitrite or nitrate. However, I have a couple brown spots that showed up in my sand. I was actually pretty stoked to see that something is growing, cause if it grows, it dies, and that means more ammonia for my biofilter. I have 8.5 lbs of dry rock (that I did not cure because there is nothing on it) and a good 1.5 inches of live sand from CaribSea. My wife and oldest daughter keep asking me if I'm going to add a snail or a fish or a crab yet, or if I want to use some chemical kick start solution. It's been 25 days and I'm still sticking to my guns. I'm just waiting and watching. Now that I have some growth of some kind it will be interesting to see where the next few weeks go. I look forward to building up my biofilter!

 

Edit: after doing more reading I learned that this may very well be the beginning of my diatom bloom, which would be awesome! To make sure I'm not turning this nature cycle into a problem, I am switching my top-off water from de-chlorinated tap water to RODI from my LFS. That way I can avoid any silicates or extra stow-away chemicals from my tap. As always, any feedback is always welcome.

 

ppt s.g.  = 1.026

temp = 80 degrees F

ammonia = 0.25 ppm

nitrite = 0.00 ppm

nitrate = 0.00 ppm

light schedule...

    white LED from 7:00 am to 7:00 PM

    blue LED from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM

    lights out from 10:00 PM to 7:00 AM

 

 

DC4479BC-2A66-43A6-BAC3-39F4913C9E88.jpeg

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Seadragon
2 hours ago, Rudee said:

My wife and oldest daughter keep asking me if I'm going to add a snail or a fish or a crab yet, or if I want to use some chemical kick start solution. It's been 25 days and I'm still sticking to my guns. I'm just waiting and watching. Now that I have some growth of some kind it will be interesting to see where the next few weeks go. I look forward to building up my biofilter!

... As always, any feedback is always welcome.

 

You're doing good, I like your patience!  If you do get tired of watching the brown spots though, I'd order a bottle of Instant Ocean BIO-Spira off Amazon, add that to the tank, monitor your water parameters until Ammonia and Nitrites hit 0, then add a fish.  And if the brown diatoms start covering the glass, get some Banded Trochus snails too. 

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Diamonds x Pearls

+1 for the Trochus snails

Also, if you have a Whole Foods the RODI might be cheaper there. Just another option when the LFS is closed or you somehow need to get a carton of milk along the way.

 

Tanks looking great. Excited to see what will happen.

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Rudee

That's crazy, there is a Whole Foods right next to my LFS. I didn't know you could get water there.

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Diamonds x Pearls
50 minutes ago, Rudee said:

That's crazy, there is a Whole Foods right next to my LFS. I didn't know you could get water there.

I'd call ahead to check before you storm the store with your 5 gallon totes like I do. Whole Foods is contracted with Fresh Pure Waters so they have their machines that produce RO, DI, and extra alkaline water for those health people out there.

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R0C95

Hi Rudee, welcome to the hobby, and thank you for your service. 

 

Seems you are starting on the right track. I'm a saltwater newbie myself, kept some pretty nice freshwater setups in the past though. Started my 32 biocube for my 5 year old daughter (she wanted Nemo's lol) hence the dive into saltwater (she didnt want plants and piranhas)...

 

That said, if you dont mind me sharing some things I've learned that may help you along as we are going through similar stages.

 

1.  Dont run your lights at all. Bacteria and the nitrogen cycle do not need lights. You're just encouraging unnecessary algae growth. 

 

2.  Get a new heater asap. Heaters that are not accurate can be prone to other issues.  Electrical short, or boiling your water with livestock in it while you sleep.  I went with the cobalt nano heater, and it's awesome. 

 

3.  Speaking of heat, if you want to speed up your cycle (you seem to enjoy the slow part though) you can bump up your temp to 85 or so degrees. 

 

4.  Get a power head. I got the tunze DC powerhead, but you'll have to find the right size for your tank. Oxygen from surface exchange is the healthiest thing you can do for your water. 

 

5.  What test kit are you running?  I'm assuming ATI based on your levels on thursday?  They seem wrong for how long your tank has been setup, and ATI kits are notorious for being wrong.  I'm thinking your tank may actually be cycled. I had the same problem.  ATI kit said : 0.2 ammo, 0 nitrite, 0 nitrate.   Went to my LFS that day and because it didnt look right, and he used the Salifert kit and it showed: 0 ammo, 0 nitrite,  and 50 nitrate. boom, tank cycled (but dirty lol).

 

6.  I'm lazy, so I just get aquarium water from my LFS. It's $1/gallon and I never have to worry about the salinity.  Water change with salt water, but always top off evaporation with RODI. Salt doesnt evaporate. 

 

7.  When you are ready for corals, it's good you like zoas.  They are a soft coral, and easy to keep generally. Most soft corals are. When you start researching other coral families, LPS will be next in progression, then SPS. But I'll leave that for now. 

 

Lastly, if you arent cycled and want to get that bacteria settled in, check out fritz turbo start 900. I've used the freshwater stuff of theirs for years (700) and I gotta tell you, it works awesome and is definitely not 'snakeoil'.

 

Either way, also watch BRS 52 weeks of reefing on youtube. A ton of good info out there. Dont take it all as the bible, but they do a great job getting you to understand the moving parts in keeping a reef tank. 

 

Feel free to ask questions anytime!

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Rudee

Wow thanks for the tips! That’s some great info. The heater will definitely be first on my list. I’m hoping to slowly upgrade it all piece by piece over time until I have some good quality system components. 
 

You are correct about the ATI and the readings are kind of unreliable so I’m gonna get a new test kit on Amazon today. Good news is I’m through my first cycle and the diatom algae has subsided. I actually have some nitrates now! To promote bio growth I got two scarlet legged hermit crabs today and am finally getting one little eagle eye zoa. After I get my new test kit I’ll see where my nitrates go. I just need a little more ammonia production and some new bacteria on my rocks.

 

So now I have some new friends to keep me company! It was. I loved watching the tank, researching, and thinking of all the possibilities over the first 6 weeks.

 

Next steps - replace my heater, get a new test kit,  check my levels daily, monitor my livestock closely, and let biology roam free. 
 

I also moved my rock now to make a more arched feel for my eventual fish friends. I figured I’d do it now to get a tad more height and so I don’t disturb my zoa too much in the future.

 

Everyone likes pictures so here is my tank with the algae subsiding and the rock before I moved it. The second picture is the algae ever further subsided with the new rock setup. Below that are my crabs and Ol’ Eagle Eye.

 

I will be naming the crabs soon 🙂

 

Suggestions are always welcome!

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5AF8B361-215F-4E54-93DE-5498A2D22E18.jpeg

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Rudee

So I had some excitement this week...

 

I'm now hosting 3 hermit crabs, 2 nassarius snails, 2 trochus snails, 1 turbo snail, a yellow watchman goby & a tiger pistol shrimp (paired before I bought them), and an eagle eye zoanthid. I didn't have much for the crabs to eat so the LFS recommended I give them an algae tablet. If it's gone in the morning, give them another, if not, then there is probably enough food in the tank. So I did that for three days, checking my levels daily.  One of my nassarius snails, the big fat black one, decided it wanted to horde algae tablets so it hilariously breach the surface of my sand each feeding time to race the crabs. The crabs don't really care until night time and then they go to town on them. So I stopped using algae tablets so as not to over feed my tank. Everyone seems fine and my tank is getting cleaner. I'll keep the tablets for a special day 😃

 

My nassarius snails love to take a lap to the top of my tank every now and then but mostly just sift through the sand very slowly. I have one trochus who loves the glass and another who won't leave my rock. The crabs love his shell so they terrorize him constantly. But he refuses to leave the rock. I think he believes he is also a crab now. My turbo also brought a hitchhiker, a teeny tiny Asterina starfish. I haven't decided what my long term plans are with it (soon to be them I am sure), but I did some research on it and as I only have one coral and a decent amount of untouched algae due to my lazy trochus couple, I'll leave it for now.

 

The goby is amaaaazing and her pistol shrimp friend is having a field day in all of that extra sand I put in. I have about 2 inches for them to play in. They build and rebuild their home all day, every day.

 

My poor zoa keeps getting knocked down by my rude crabs while they scour the rocks for food. So I'm gonna glue the zoa down today. That poor little thing has been moved all over and I'm afraid it will be traumatized for life. It opens up all the way after I get it situated but I just have too much going on in there to allow it to secure naturally. 

 

I kept my temp at 79 degrees and lowered my salinity to 1.022 after it got up to 1.026 so I'll be due to dose my RO water used for the next top off with some instant ocean to get things back up. I have been relying on the increase in salt concentration through evaporation to counter the addition of fresh water. That actually works really well. So unless I do a water change there is really no need to add salt, like ever...

 

Which brings me to the water change topic...

 

With the addition of my new tank friends, the bio load increase has been insane to deal with. Two days ago my ammonia spiked to 1.0 so I watched it carefully for 24 hours to see if the bio filter would handle it but it's just too much for my existing bio filter. It's not that established. Even though it has cycled once, it's not there yet. I added things slowly and it seemed like my ammonia was just stuck at 0.0 - 0.20 so I just let it keep doing it's thing. Luckily, I have been testing my water every day. I really hated to do this, but for the sake of my critters, I added some beneficial bacteria to keep them safe. I waited 24 hours, no change. I waited another 24 hours, and my ammonia is still 1.0 but now I have 5.0 nitrites and 10-15 nitrates. So I added some more beneficial bacteria today, and I will test tomorrow. I anticipate this will lower the ammonia some, but really crank out the nitrates. So I will likely do a partial water change tomorrow (maybe 10%) just to see how it impacts the numbers without changing the pH or any other tank parameters that could shock my tank friends.

 

So it's been quite a ride this week. Hopefully I come out on the other side and everyone is okay. It's been a fun learning experience and hope I am being responsible with my tank. Let me know your suggestions. I am sure there will be plenty lol.

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Clown79
30 minutes ago, Rudee said:

So I had some excitement this week...

 

I'm now hosting 3 hermit crabs, 2 nassarius snails, 2 trochus snails, 1 turbo snail, a yellow watchman goby & a tiger pistol shrimp (paired before I bought them), and an eagle eye zoanthid. I didn't have much for the crabs to eat so the LFS recommended I give them an algea tablet. If it's gone in the morning, give them another, if not, then there is probably enough food in the tank. So I did that for three days, checking my levels daily.  One of my nassarius snails, the big fat black one, decided it wanted to horde algea tablets so it hilariously breach the surface of my sand each feeding time to race the crabs. The crabs don't really care until night time and then they go to town on them. So I stopped using algea tablets so as not to over feed my tank. Everyone seems fine and my tank is getting cleaner. I'll keep the tablets for a special day 😃

 

My nassarius snails love to take a lap to the top of my tank every now and then but mostly just sift through the sand very slowly. I have one trochus who loves the glass and another who won't leave my rock. The crabs love his shell so they terrorize him constantly. But he refuses to leave the rock. I think he believes he is also a crab now.

 

The goby is amaaaazing and her pistol shrimp friend is having a field day in all of that extra sand I put in. I have about 2 inches for them to play in. They build and rebuild their home all day, every day.

 

My poor zoa keeps getting knocked down by my rude crabs while they scour the rocks for food. So I'm gonna glue the zoa down today. That poor little thing has been moved all over and I'm afraid it will be traumatized for life. It opens up all the way after I get it situated but I just have too much going on in there to allow it to secure naturally. 

 

I kept my temp at 79 degrees and lowered my salinity to 1.022 after it got up to 1.026 so I'll be due to dose my RO water used for the next top off with some instant ocean to get things back up. I have been relying on the increase in salt concentration through evaporation to counter the addition of fresh water. That actually works really well. So unless I do a water change there is really no need to add salt, like ever...

 

Which brings me to the water change topic...

 

With the addition of my new tank friends, the bio load increase has been insane to deal with. Two days ago my ammonia spiked to 1.0 so I watched it carefully for 24 hours to see if the bio filter would handle it but it's just too much for my existing bio filter. It's not that established. Even though it has cycled once, it's not there yet. I added things slowly and it seemed like my ammonia was just stuck at 0.0 - 0.20 so I just let it keep doing it's thing. Luckily, I have been testing my water every day. I really hated to do this, but for the sake of my critters, I added some beneficial bacteria to keep them safe. I waited 24 hours, no change. I waited another 24 hours, and my ammonia is still 1.0 but now I have 5.0 nitrites and 10-15 nitrates. So I added some more beneficial bacteria today, and I will test tomorrow. I anticipate this will lower the ammonia some, but really crank out the nitrates. So I will likely do a partial water change tomorrow (maybe 10%) just to see how it impacts the numbers without changing the pH or any other tank parameters that could shock my tank friends.

 

So it's been quite a ride this week. Hopefully I come out on the other side and everyone is okay. It's been a fun learning experience and hope I am being responsible with my tank. Let me know your suggestions. I am sure there will be plenty lol.

The originsl nitrogen cycle only happens once.

 

After that, bacteria continues to build and your regular daily nitrogen cycle should process ammonia without any issue.

 

If ammonia is spiking after the completion of the initial cycle, it's because too much life has been added and your biological filter cannot process the amount of ammonia produced by the waste from food and livestock.

 

Snails, hermits, fish, shrimp- they all eat and poop.

 

There really is no need to chase ph. It fluctuates all day long and increases with photosynthesis.

 

In a reef tank, salinity should be 1.025 or 1.026

 

1.022 is for fish only tanks.

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karisma
15 minutes ago, Clown79 said:

In a reef tank, salinity should be 1.025 or 1.026

 

1.022 is for fish only tanks.

This.

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Rudee

Awesome, thank you all. I'll bring that salinity back up and check the water levels in the morning.

 

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Clown79
2 hours ago, Rudee said:

Awesome, thank you all. I'll bring that salinity back up and check the water levels in the morning.

 

It's best to change salinity slowly.

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Rudee

I did a 25% water change, salinity is up to 1.025 and I am letting the water run through the filter for a bit to get everything mixed well before testing again. Now I'm out of RO water so I guess I have a trip to the store on my list today. They haven't said 'shelter-in-place" in Denver but that's pretty much what it is.

 

Next step, I added 10ml of API quick start to help neutralize my ammonia problem. 

 

Now I am watching my CuC to see how they are responding to the change while I wait for my water to be test-ready. My turbo came down from the top of the tank and is cruising all along my glass. So I am taking that as a good sign. My crabs aren't really awake yet and my Goby and Shrimp haven't surfaced today but they were building like crazy last night. Lucky for me, they are super hardy and have been very understanding with my first time process/problems. 

 

Now for the water test...

 

Ammonia is still reading 1.0 ppm. So I will let the quick start bacteria do it's thing for another 24 hours and test again tomorrow and probably another 20% water change. In the meantime, I'm going to get a refill of RO water and look at a new water quality test kit. I'm currently using my wife's API freshwater master kit, which has salt water instructions and color cards.

 

I also skipped a feeding day because I think I over fed them before. So there should be a decent amount of left overs in the sand and on the rock. Hoping things stabilize soon so I can give my goby and shrimp some snacks.

 

 

 

 

 

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