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findingnemo23

First Saltwater Tank (evo 13.5)

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findingnemo23

2 Week Update:

 

I did a 50% water change with pre-mixed RO-DI saltwater last weekend since I had originally started with 100% tap water. I plan on doing a 20% water change with RO-DI saltwater next weekend.

 

 I had about 4 days last week where diatoms were growing, and now that has turned into green algae.

 

I've had to clean my glass about twice a day to keep it clear, and I reduced my light schedule from 10 hours to 6 hours per day hoping to reduce the algae growth.

 

My water test results have been the same since setting the tank up. But today I noticed that as the solution sat in the test tube while taking pictures, the nitrate test tube went from bright yellow to slightly orange. I'm finding it difficult determine the API test result colours.

 

I'm definitely not going to add more livestock until I'm fully cycled. But so far I have:

 

1 coral banded shrimp 

2 blue legged hermit crabs

2 trochus snails

 

The snails have been falling from above when they climb up the sides of the tank, and landing upside down and they cannot seem to flip themselves back over. 

 

If anyone has any advice or tips to give me I would appreciate it a lot! I'm still brand new and this is a learning experience for me.

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Ash1176

Looks like you should be cycled, but you say ammonia and nitrite have been the same since the beginning? 
do have ammonia on hand you can dose? That way you if you see ammonia and nitrite drop back down to zero again in 24hrs you know your defo cycled 

 

i have been worrying about some algae growth too, don’t worry it’s all part of the new tank

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TerraIncognita

that green algae is not the same as Hair Algae or Diatoms etc. This is a normal part of the process, your tank is coming along GREAT!

 

1. Vaccuum the sand, Youtube how to do it to get excess nutrients but leave the sand.

 

2. Scrub the glass a little more.

 

3. Get some livestock.

 

I have no idea why you couldn't add a fish now with some corals. What's your light for coral or is it stock? I'd get some sofites, maybe some zoa's. I kept Acans under the stock light. they didn't grow but hey were alive. You wont grow much under that fluval stock lighting unfortunately. I'd go for an AI Prime or Nano Box. I have an AI Hydra which is OVERKILL but I plan to use it in a much further down the road upgrade.

 

But also to me, a tank is hard to process completely without fish, I think they're part of the process.

 

Lastly if you can at your LFS, or somewhere ask them to scrape a little bit of Corraline from theri tanks for you. Put it in a bag and try to get it settled on your rock when you put it in your tank ❤️ that'll give you a nice jump start.

 

I like jumpstarts, and when fellow reefers can help you jump start. even better.

 

I started this tank on July 1st or around there. HEre is it: large.96FFBBC0-0953-4B3B-BE5F-21F10AE019C8.jpeg.7297ab2772340af37039143cf9644c7b.jpeg

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findingnemo23
5 hours ago, Ash1176 said:

Looks like you should be cycled, but you say ammonia and nitrite have been the same since the beginning? 
do have ammonia on hand you can dose? That way you if you see ammonia and nitrite drop back down to zero again in 24hrs you know your defo cycled 

 

i have been worrying about some algae growth too, don’t worry it’s all part of the new tank

 

4 hours ago, TerraIncognita said:

that green algae is not the same as Hair Algae or Diatoms etc. This is a normal part of the process, your tank is coming along GREAT!

 

1. Vaccuum the sand, Youtube how to do it to get excess nutrients but leave the sand.

 

2. Scrub the glass a little more.

 

3. Get some livestock.

 

I have no idea why you couldn't add a fish now with some corals. What's your light for coral or is it stock? I'd get some sofites, maybe some zoa's. I kept Acans under the stock light. they didn't grow but hey were alive. You wont grow much under that fluval stock lighting unfortunately. I'd go for an AI Prime or Nano Box. I have an AI Hydra which is OVERKILL but I plan to use it in a much further down the road upgrade.

 

But also to me, a tank is hard to process completely without fish, I think they're part of the process.

 

Lastly if you can at your LFS, or somewhere ask them to scrape a little bit of Corraline from theri tanks for you. Put it in a bag and try to get it settled on your rock when you put it in your tank ❤️ that'll give you a nice jump start.

 

I like jumpstarts, and when fellow reefers can help you jump start. even better.

 

I started this tank on July 1st or around there. HEre is it: large.96FFBBC0-0953-4B3B-BE5F-21F10AE019C8.jpeg.7297ab2772340af37039143cf9644c7b.jpeg

Thank you both for your input! That picture looks amazing and that's definitely a goal to make my tank look that great! 

 

My ammonia hasn't had a completely yellow result yet, and the nitrite has always been bright blue.

 

I noticed a small bottle of Fritz Turbo start 900 for sale at the local fish store the other day- Should I dose this or would it harm the inverts?

 

Also I'm still very concerned about the algae-

 

Last night I scrubbed the rocks with a toothbrush as best as I could, and cleaned the glass until it was spotless. The light went out only about 10 minutes after.

Today, when I came home and with the light being on for only 4 hours. There was a ton of algae ontop of the rocks again, and the glass was foggy green.

 

I'm thinking maybe its because I still have about 50% tap water from when I originally set up the tank?

Should I turn off my lights completely for the next 24 hours? Or will that bother the inverts?

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Ash1176

How long have been cycling for? Apart from your inverts did you add some ammonia? 
the API ammonia test always seems a bit green with saltwater...

 

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findingnemo23
16 minutes ago, Ash1176 said:

How long have been cycling for? Apart from your inverts did you add some ammonia? 
the API ammonia test always seems a bit green with saltwater...

 

Been cycling for 17 days now. Haven't added any ammonia, only chemical I have added was Fritz Zyme 9 on the first day.

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Ash1176

You need a source of ammonia to start the cycle (pure ammonia, fish poop, a piece of frozen shrimp...) 

I don’t think the cuc will create a big enough bioload 

You want your test kit to register around 2ppm of ammonia...and then you can see if your cycled 

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findingnemo23

So after 24 hours with the light turned off. There is literally next to no green algae present! 😀

 

@Ash1176 Check out this screenshot from the FritzZyme website; it says that the FritzZyme 900 turbostart will boost the cycle quickly and no livestock will be harmed, and no additional ammonia needed . I get what you're saying by adding ammonia to the tank, but I'm worried that route may be harmful for my livestock.

 

The plan this weekend is a water change, add a bottle of turbo start, then test the water religiously throughout next week, and maybe (literally maybe) I'll be fully cycled and ready for a pair of clowns 🥳

 

I'm so excited lol

 

I've also been looking at buying a DIY mesh screen lid kit, and watching youtube video and reading threads on the AI Prime 16 HD light for me to purchase later on...The lighting schedules and customization for that seems like something I need to research more lol

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TerraIncognita
5 minutes ago, findingnemo23 said:

So after 24 hours with the light turned off. There is literally next to no green algae present! 😀

 

@Ash1176 Check out this screenshot from the FritzZyme website; it says that the FritzZyme 900 turbostart will boost the cycle quickly and no livestock will be harmed, and no additional ammonia needed . I get what you're saying by adding ammonia to the tank, but I'm worried that route may be harmful for my livestock.

 

The plan this weekend is a water change, add a bottle of turbo start, then test the water religiously throughout next week, and maybe (literally maybe) I'll be fully cycled and ready for a pair of clowns 🥳

 

I'm so excited lol

 

I've also been looking at buying a DIY mesh screen lid kit, and watching youtube video and reading threads on the AI Prime 16 HD light for me to purchase later on...The lighting schedules and customization for that seems like something I need to research more lol

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The Turbo start may be repetitive, not necessarily needed.

 

Otherwise looking great. Keep the lights on a lower schedule until you start to stock corals or other things that need a bunch more light. It'll help continue to keep the algae down while your tank establishes more and more.

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TerraIncognita
On 8/4/2020 at 7:47 AM, Ash1176 said:

Looks like you should be cycled, but you say ammonia and nitrite have been the same since the beginning? 
do have ammonia on hand you can dose? That way you if you see ammonia and nitrite drop back down to zero again in 24hrs you know your defo cycled 

 

i have been worrying about some algae growth too, don’t worry it’s all part of the new tank

If he's producing NO3 that means he has BB and it is "cycled"

 

the amount of BB that is established, however what he needs to work on and grow. That only comes with time, and good husbandry throughout that whole time.

 

At any point he's ready to add a fish, I'd recommend adding 1 fish and then next month another to keep the bioload even less for better success. However you can add 2, and no one will die, but be prepared to work harder for that 2nd fish to make sure you keep your tanks balance proper while it's still growing.

 

Too add to that.

 

OP. you need to handle your water situation before you add fish to this tank just to be fair to the fish.

 

1. You need to do frequent water changes to remove the NO3 in the beginning year of your tank. This will help you fight Algae, Pests, and many tank nightmares.

 

2. You need to be able to provide them within a few hours a source of fresh water at any given moment. If you cannot do that, you're basically like living in space with only the oxygen you have, and if you F it up, yeah. you get the picture.

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Ash1176
19 minutes ago, findingnemo23 said:

turbostart will boost the cycle quickly and no livestock will be harmed, and no additional ammonia needed . I get what you're saying by adding ammonia to the tank, but I'm worried that route may be harmful for my livestock.

In this case they assume you add fish right away, fish will create the ammonia, so you will have a source of ammonia. Turbo 900 just reacts and makes it less toxic and cycles the tank while the fish are in it creating ammonia.

 

your showing nitrates, so it seems your cycled, you’ll find out by adding ammonia, or a fish which will be the same thing as it will create ammonia 🙂
 

 

 

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findingnemo23

@TerraIncognita how many hours a day do you think I should keep the stock light on with my algae situation?

As far as water changes, since i'm not planning on adding a skimmer I'm going to do them weekly. I have a 5G bucket with a lid so I can just do 2.5G changes/week and keep the rest on hand.

 

One thing I don't like is I STILL have an ugly bristleworm, even after the LFS told me the shrimp would kill it. I even tried grabbing it the other day with pliers but it retracted back into the rock the second I touched it. I want that worm gone bad lol.

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findingnemo23

@Ash1176 That is true and I'm probably just paranoid about my tank. I'll test again instead of spending $30 on a shot glass size of Turbo. Btw do you have any pictures or a journal of your tank?

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TerraIncognita
28 minutes ago, findingnemo23 said:

@TerraIncognita how many hours a day do you think I should keep the stock light on with my algae situation?

As far as water changes, since i'm not planning on adding a skimmer I'm going to do them weekly. I have a 5G bucket with a lid so I can just do 2.5G changes/week and keep the rest on hand.

 

One thing I don't like is I STILL have an ugly bristleworm, even after the LFS told me the shrimp would kill it. I even tried grabbing it the other day with pliers but it retracted back into the rock the second I touched it. I want that worm gone bad lol.

Lol on the worm. Yeah they suck. Just keep trying to get him. Try to get teethed tweezers. Makes it easier. Fortunately I seem to have little to none in my own tanks. I must have a good source for rocks.

 

on the lighting, it’s up to you. But seeing as you have nothing in there right now really that needs light I’d say go ahead and keep em off til you add fish. No reason to not. Personal choice at this moment. Some say it helps with the cycling. I think so too, but I don’t know the total effect. I’d just leave em off til you get some fish if you’re concerned about the algae.

 

 

on the water, get at least 1 more 5G bucket with at least some saltwater mix somewhere. If you don’t have a source to RODI water or clean water source at least get saltwater prime for your tap.

 

this is a must in case of some type of emergency.

 

what if one day your drunken family member spills a beer in the tank.

 

who knows lol.
 

I’ll tell you now, the way life goes in general, if you’re prepared for it, it never happens it seems.

 

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Ash1176

+1 on having extra RODI on hand, I keep 4x 5 gallon jugs on hand, mainly so I do less trips to the store to get some, but also just in case.

 

+1 on turning your lights off until you get fish. after that you can run your lights from 6 to 10 hours... 

 

imo bristleworms are good, as long as they don’t reproduce too much, they will eat detritus! 

I cant add a link for some reason... I’ll just tag you in mine  

 

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TerraIncognita

Not just your opinion but a fact that bristle worms have a lot of benefits.

 

however they can grow up to 8 inches!!! In Nano tanks I really try to keep them to a minimum. Just for aesthetics. Nothing against them. (Except the big ones really can be kind of unsightly sometimes lol)

 

also just because I’m always scared one of them will be a fire worm one day lol.

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Ash1176

Here’s mine, you can only see half of it, he’s a good 2 inches!
I personally think it looks pretty cool, and I believe biodiversity in a tank is your friend!

my wife on the other hand thinks its horrid, and give her the creeps... I told her I would get it out of the tank, but I just keep telling her that he “hides very well”

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findingnemo23

Today I dosed the tank with 1oz of turbo start 900. LFS told me that the API master test kit isn't good or accurate at all... that would explain why i'm having difficulties with it. I'm going to look into getting a good individual test kit for nitrate for weekly testing after the cycle.

 

Fingers are crossed if the CUC will survive the cycle from this point forward! 🤔

LFS also said they would provide an ammonia source for the cycle.

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findingnemo23

Got 2 clownfish a few days ago! Got them for $25 CAD each which I thought was decent since every other store around sells them for about $40 each.

 

Bristle worm is at least 6", I haven't gotten around to trapping/removing it yet but I figure worst case scenario down the road I'll just swap out the live rock (on the right) with a brand new dry rock.

 

Next time I post here I'll probably have my first ever coral... Not sure which ones to start with 

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findingnemo23

Mini update:

 

I have had my stock light on for 6 hours a day and everything is doing well, rocks are still a bit green but haven't gotten out of hand at all. The glass hasn't had any algae on it that I've noticed.

 

Today I noticed a baby of some sort climbing up the wall of the tank. It has the same shape of shell as my hermit crabs but up close it looks like a snail. Any ideas? It's definitely small enough to fit through the filter grill so hopefully it doesn't crawl through that... 

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TerraIncognita

looking great!

 

any plan to stock corals?

 

You could/should be able to stock any of these corals:

https://worldwidecorals.com/collections/chalices

https://worldwidecorals.com/collections/zoanthids

https://worldwidecorals.com/collections/lps-frags

https://worldwidecorals.com/collections/soft-coral

 

Or any corals you can find in your LFS's or online that are in the same families as those,

 

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Tired

Looks like a great start, but I'd remove the shrimp. CBS get very large (for shrimp) and can potentially kill small fish, especially slow-moving ones like clowns, once they reach a decent size. A scarlet skunk cleaner shrimp would be a great replacement, or a blood cleaner shrimp. Both will have some cool fish-cleaning behaviors you can enjoy, and neither will try to kill your fish. They can be territorial to other shrimp, though, so pick one or the other. 

 

Bristleworms are completely harmless, unless you touch them and get bristles in your finger. And even that's just an annoyance, you won't get sick or anything. They get blamed for killing things because they scavenge things that were already dying or dead. They're great detritivores, so you should probably not remove your only one. 

 

What are your parameters now? You want to have nitrates and phosphates for your corals to feed on when you get them, and, more importantly right now, for your algae to feed on. Since you have dry rock, it'll be very easy for hair algae or other pest algae to spread all over the place, when it's inevitably added on coral frags. Trying to starve it out won't work, it can grow in very low nutrients. The way to prevent that is to let non-pest algae grow and spread, so pest algae can't get a good foothold. If it has competition from other types of algae, it's much easier for your CUC to keep it in check. 

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findingnemo23

Just did a water test-

 

Salinity is 1.025 (for some reason when I collect water from the surface it seems to be a different result than if I collect water from the middle/bottom of the tank)

Temperature is 78.5

High Range PH is 7.8-8.0

Ammonia is showing 0.25ppm (several people tell me that the API test is notorious for this)

Nitrite is 0ppm

Nitrate is 10-20ppm 

I have not checked phosphates at all since setting up the tank. 

 

I bought the CBS shrimp knowing they are aggressive, and I have seen it pinch my fish and snails a few times. I'm planning on keeping it was long as it's alive since it was $40. The clown fish have learned to stay away from it.

 

I'm planning on getting corals shipped from Fragbox, this comes with 9 "beginner" corals:

https://fragbox.ca/product/beginner-easy-coral-frag-pack/

 

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TerraIncognita

Great choice on first coral picks, you have a nice mix there of softies and LPS, and even some cyphastrea which are a not quite but almost sps :).

 

Good luck with them all! Make sure you study up on them and their growth rates in your placement.

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findingnemo23

Just came home and found BOTH clown fish were dead, one was in the hands of the shrimp and was being eaten and the other was laying on the sand. Did a water test to check for spikes in ammonia but everything seemed fine. Any ideas what would cause them to die after only a month?

 

I'm still doing 20% bi-weekly water changes, my last water change was 2 days ago.

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