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Ralston2k3

Evo 13.5 First Go

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Ralston2k3
Posted (edited)

Well finally took the plunge an got into the marine world. Done a number of tropical set ups but wanted to see if i can handle the big ocean (well small piece).

 

Basically grabbed a deal off of facebook marketplace someone was selling an have done a bunch of reading an just made my own way an seen what happens.

 

2 pieces of dry rock, 1 i believe artificial live rock (caribe i think the LFS owner said). They went in to start and i ghost fed for the first week small amounts. Dosed bottled bacteria fluval start and added a couple of clowns on day 12 i think it was. 3 hermits 3 nassarius 3 trochus and a cleaner shrimp went in day 14 and right now its day 19 an i think from what ive read im in a diatom bloom??? Ive kept the filter sponge in there but added abit of floss underneath to help and also not going for the skimmer instead im water changing weekly 10% ive filled the first chamber with more synthetic fibre to catch more debris an plan on changing this bi weekly. Il add some pics just wandering if im in the right phase were i should be really and does it 'look' right. Aquascaping is none existent that will come in time an also the upgrades too just want to get this thing settled then plan on going to town on it abit an changing lights intank chamber etc.

Also for what its worth clowns are super happy from what i can see never known such an enquisitive species an great little characters. If im doing something blatantly wrong please someone point it out an i can rectify it or if you see anything that looks a problem same again 👍

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Edited by Ralston2k3
Forgot to include chamber shots
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DevilDuck

Welcome! Looks like your off to great start. I would budget in some water test kits to add to your upgrade list.

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Ralston2k3

Sorry forgot to say i have been testing aswell im not just cruel an threw em all in an seeing how it went haha. Just done a 8 litre water change and seems like my nitrates are high..... again read a few things an doesnt seem to be a big problem (for some people anyway ha) could this be down to the diatoms???

 

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Ralston2k3

That setup in the chambers was restricting the flow quite abit so removed the floss from 2dn and moved it to first chamber at top an reduced the amount of it by 50% and also the blue synthetic stuff reduced that by 50% too water looks alot better plus added a jebao wavemaker poining at the intake for filter to see if that helps.  Diatoms have almost all gone an params all look great wondering what to do next now maybe one or two frags??  Too early??

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paulsz

what are your parameters at the moment? Just ammonia, nitrite and nitrate, as well as your salinity. 

 

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Brandonmw

Personally I would leave your tank be for a bit. Let things catch up and make sure things are stable. 12 days is an incredibly fast cycle for dye rock. Glad that everything in the tank is doing well. Good rule of thumb for saltwater is good things come to those that wait. New additions should be spaced out around every couple of weeks to let the systems build up your beneficial bacteria to accommodate the new additions. A mature saltwater tank is in the range of 3ish years.
Tank looks good thought.  Welcome to the reefing hobby! 

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Ralston2k3
6 hours ago, Brandonmw said:

Personally I would leave your tank be for a bit. Let things catch up and make sure things are stable. 12 days is an incredibly fast cycle for dye rock. Glad that everything in the tank is doing well. Good rule of thumb for saltwater is good things come to those that wait. New additions should be spaced out around every couple of weeks to let the systems build up your beneficial bacteria to accommodate the new additions. A mature saltwater tank is in the range of 3ish years.
Tank looks good thought.  Welcome to the reefing hobby! 

Yea think i will see how they all go its been 4 weeks now since initial set up. Need to invest in a phosphate an other test kits for future corals. Want 2 watchmen goby aswell but.mite be pushing the bioload possibly

 

6 hours ago, paulsz said:

what are your parameters at the moment? Just ammonia, nitrite and nitrate, as well as your salinity. 

 

Ammonia is zero

Nitrite zero

Nitrate about 10ppm i think could be one lower (using api test kit)

Salinity slightly low but due water change tomorrow will bring it back up 1.022

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paulsz
3 hours ago, Ralston2k3 said:

Ammonia is zero

Nitrite zero

Nitrate about 10ppm i think could be one lower (using api test kit)

Salinity slightly low but due water change tomorrow will bring it back up 1.022

All looks good! however, if you want to add corals, you have to bring the salinity up to 1.026. I was told fish can live at 1.022 (and i'm sure that plenty of LFS have it that low). But for corals, it has to be 1.026. 

 

With that said, bring it up slowly. What you can do is raise it little by little every day by topping off with saltwater (instead of freshwater). Check you salinity every few days but you should be back up to 1.026 in a week or two.

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Arc Katana

You can go from 1.022 to 1.026 in 10 minutes and it won't hurt anything.  Just add a little salt, test, (give it about 10 minutes to circulate) then repeat if needed.

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Ralston2k3

Ill have to do some reading up on the corals not really looked into them at all. Did a top up an like you said within about 10 minutes the salinity was up to 1.025. Messing round with the chambers has helped massively the waters looking super clear. Just need somethin for my sandbed seems to have abit of debris (no idea what it is) on it an wouldnt mind it removing can you use a normal vac thing with sand??

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Arc Katana
2 hours ago, Ralston2k3 said:

Ill have to do some reading up on the corals not really looked into them at all. Did a top up an like you said within about 10 minutes the salinity was up to 1.025. Messing round with the chambers has helped massively the waters looking super clear. Just need somethin for my sandbed seems to have abit of debris (no idea what it is) on it an wouldnt mind it removing can you use a normal vac thing with sand??

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Yeah, you can certainly suck out the detritus with a sand vac.  It might be easier to just use the tubing and spot clean, rather than the bigger tube, quite a bit of the sand will come up with the larger tube.  I was just cleaning my 13.5 out today, and used a tube to get the loose gunk on the rock as well.    Great start to your tank!

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Tony Bologna

The tank looks good. I am also new to nano reefs. I think you are on the right track using less floss and changing it more often. It should result in better flow and reduced nitrates. Regarding the addition of more fish, All the reading I have done suggests that more bio load = more maintenance. I guess  it just depends on the person weather that is a good or bad thing. This website is a great resource and the community is genuinely helpful. Good luck with your reef!

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Ralston2k3
On 18/03/2021 at 10:08 PM, Arc Katana said:

Yeah, you can certainly suck out the detritus with a sand vac.  It might be easier to just use the tubing and spot clean, rather than the bigger tube, quite a bit of the sand will come up with the larger tube.  I was just cleaning my 13.5 out today, and used a tube to get the loose gunk on the rock as well.    Great start to your tank!

Ended up robbing me dads gravel vac he uses in his tropical set up will have to see how it goes an try an be quite light with it.

 

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Brandonmw
1 hour ago, Ralston2k3 said:

Ended up robbing me dads gravel vac he uses in his tropical set up will have to see how it goes an try an be quite light with it.

 

When your using the vac just pinch or fold the hose so there isn’t as much suction. That way you won’t suck up as much sand but still get the crappy stuff out. 

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Ralston2k3

Attempted to make my own egg crate chamber not too bad but needs refining i think 🤣

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Arc Katana

If it works, that's what matters!  

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Ratvan

Looks good to me, much better than my first attempt

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Ralston2k3

Latest water change an big clean up. Ended up not using the gravel vac it was just sucking up all my sand so went old school an just used a net an stirred it up 🤣 waters looking good tho. Planning on gettin corals eventually so added some kalwasser in preperation. Also for the bio media got aome of these things (see picture) says only 2 for for 50 litres surely not?? Seems too little but hey ho. Oh also got a royal gramma not that youd know because i havent seen the little fella since he got here hiding under the purple rock in his den.

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Ralston2k3

Here he/she is 

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Ralston2k3

Testing since Two Tone Tina (royal gramma) came into the aquarium has been spot on again like normal now my nitrates sit around 10 ppm nitrite 0 ammonia 0. Having another little diatom bloom but hopefully weekly water change will keep that in check. Added some corals off a local marine enthusiast his first frags hes done. All been dipped an after an initial shock period for them  (the move) im quite happy with how there responding in the tank all seem fine opening every day just working my way through placing them in the right parts of the tank. Also my mum gave me a piece of fossil coral from mauritius she picked up last year ive glued my hawaiian sunset zoa frag to it an put it in the tank i assume it cant do any harm read a few pieces an people say it will up the calcium level in the tank but thats all. But really deep white good looking piece if it goes well ill get some more to slowly add over time an move to the big tank wen that time comes. Again if anyone spots anything ive done thats alarming let me know can only learn from my mistakes 👍

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Ralston2k3

Got some more modding done, done another basket for chamber one. Currently have floss an polywhatsitsname in that at minute. With a couple of homemade ceramic ring bags underneath. Then in second chamber have carbon with a couple of the aqua evolution bio balls and another bag of ceramic rings. Water params have been usual not done one since last nights mods but goin on 2 months for the tank now an this last week have seen the massive spike in hair algae but i assume its due to having my light on too much im reducing that to only 6ish hours a day now with about 4 hours blue an a good 12 hours minimum in the dark to see how the algae settles. Added a man eater zoa since last time but my kenya tree has been an gone a few times so not sure what to do with that right now hawaiian sunsets look good an the gorgonian was thriving but now looks less so but my placement isnt right. Due to get a load of rock in nect 24 hours so got some curing to do before i do a massive rockscaping redesign (really not my cup of tea im useless) but apart from that all fish are healthy shrimps snails crabs look good 👍

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DevilDuck

Looks like the ugly stage is in full effect now but it should clear up before you know it. 

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Ralston2k3

Nothing a spare toothbrush cant sort out. Plus basically change the floss every other day. Looking into the refugium side of things now alot of people recommend chaeto so mite go down that route 

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DevilDuck
3 hours ago, Ralston2k3 said:

Nothing a spare toothbrush cant sort out. Plus basically change the floss every other day. Looking into the refugium side of things now alot of people recommend chaeto so mite go down that route 

I would wait on the refugium. I created one too very early on and as the tank matured am finding that it maybe be required. 

 

See my refugium experiment thread 

 

 

 

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rough eye

i would be afraid to redo the rocks, it might set you back to having to let the tank being to mature all over again. mine isn't real pretty but i feel it's kind of stable and for myself i'd be very hesitant about making any big changes.

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