Jump to content
horseysurprise

This Ain't A Scene, It's Another Fluval 13.5g

Recommended Posts

horseysurprise

1.thumb.jpg.1214fc77e21cfce824d115ece4e24e16.jpg

(Placeholder pic for the thumbnail, will update)

 

Brand new to the saltwater reef game, finally pulling the trigger after a couple years of reading and half-researching.

Tank: Fluval 13.5g

Pump: Stock (for now)

Light: Stock (for now)

Heater: Fluval 100W (for some reason it was cheaper than the 50W, the 100W is overkill for this tank but won't hurt)

RO/DI: Aquatic Life RO Buddie (heard mixed things, will test this out and see how it goes)

Sand: CaribSea Arag-Alive Fiji Pink

Rock: Live rock from LFS

Livestock: TBD

 

I managed to find a local LFS (really just a guy running it out of his garage - COVID lockdowns killed our aquarium store). He gave me a decent amount of live rock that he had kept in its own large saltwater tub with filtration and whatnot. Also got 5 gallons of saltwater from his established tank. The remaining ~8 gal was just tap water + salt that I added conditioner to, which he said would work fine for the pre-cycle. Afterwards he suggested RO/DI saltwater so I got myself a small setup, will test it out soon. Also, while unnecessary, I added some quickstart so the cycle should really kick off.

 

I am a pretty patient person, and since I have seen a lot of new reefers testing their aquarium every day and stressing out during the cycle, I've decided to skip that and just let this thing sit for a month before paying it any attention. Should be enough time with the live rock + live sand + established salt water + quickstart, I'm thinking.

 

Future plans aren't even really put together but I do think it would be cool to create as self-sustaining of a system as possible. I care more about non-fish critters than I do fish. First eventual step will likely be a cleaner shrimp, because they're cute. I also plan to eventually get as much automation/monitoring going as possible via reef-pi or similar.

 

And now pictures:

 

2.thumb.jpg.c25598616e4e4c9327d9537fab4e175b.jpg

Real cloudy when the water was added, which is normal.

 

3.thumb.jpg.053201d8ab9fb5fa3ff565e0280ba1a1.jpg

The next day, the water is so clean and clear that it almost looks like there's no water at all (and I will definitely need to be cleaning the inside of the glass at some point..)

 

Also wanted to thank everyone again for the advice and comments in the introductions forum, I like it here! Please feel free to hit me with livestock suggestions, critique, advice, comments.

 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
banasophia

Looks good! Following along. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
horseysurprise

Update - looks like the cycle is going well. Still not bothering to test but I’m noticing some yellow (algae?) taking over my tank. It’s all over the sand and starting to grow on the glass in patches. Also noticing some tiny bubbles occasionally float up - life! Looks like the live rock this guy gave me was good 🙂 anyone know what the yellow is, anyways? 

 

E7B7F912-3E97-40A9-A55A-10B89727A623.jpeg

23D70A67-4F1B-4F62-9A82-9D70C6CB4A56.jpeg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
banasophia

Looks like diatoms to me

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Ratvan

Distoms is a god sign and typically when people add a clean up crew to the tank. Might be worth testing and checking ammonia is 0. Looks like you got some nice rock and possibly had a quick cycle 🤞

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
horseysurprise

Woot that’s great news, thanks for the input all 🙂 

 

also update on that cheap RO/DI system - I have tap water with TDS in the 200s, and it produces 0 TDS water so I have five gallons now hanging out. Waste water tested in the 300s for TDS (as expected). Overall pretty easy to use. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
horseysurprise

Newly spotted algae / bacteria - probably easy to ID for you folks, hopefully still good signs. 


zoom out:

 

209C055B-7ADD-4BC1-9D8C-650F10F9AF0F.thumb.jpeg.b871e8c427276eca67f7b205597d75ed.jpeg
 

zoom in:

 

 

96FF1098-0FDB-4CEF-9E2A-F7A841AABE2C.thumb.jpeg.3c32790e9d4b11ef6c30dba69bbc1fcc.jpeg

5FDCF2C6-550B-409D-92DD-B28E5F337C5B.thumb.jpeg.17d9b8b61740d83e636e069f891cdff1.jpeg

 

Bonus (on the glass):

 

DFBE914B-8800-49EA-92B9-08F580A8235E.thumb.jpeg.8e0d2f9a545282d6d9982ed5edbb6ead.jpeg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
banasophia

Look like possibly hydroids

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
horseysurprise

Apparently they like to hold balloons 

8360C037-DCA9-41D6-ADFA-34AFB78DDFED.jpeg

  • Confused 1
  • Wow 1

Share this post


Link to post
banasophia

Oh my… one reefing adventure after the next… that’s a bummer.

 

I usually get some signs of dino in my tanks around this time point and do a two week course of dosing Microbacter 7 daily to try to get the ecosystem in a better balance.  

 

I’m sure others will chime in with suggestions. 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
horseysurprise
17 hours ago, banasophia said:

Oh my… one reefing adventure after the next… that’s a bummer.

 

I usually get some signs of dino in my tanks around this time point and do a two week course of dosing Microbacter 7 daily to try to get the ecosystem in a better balance.  

 

I’m sure others will chime in with suggestions. 

Yep that’s precisely what these are, I’m gonna say the cycle is likely done by now. I used a new toothbrush and got a bunch of the slime off the rock and scooped out the dinos that were floating - took the opportunity to clean the glass as well. Scooped out what I can.

 

I’m going to bring a water sample to my aquarium guy tomorrow and check parameters, and assuming everything’s good, I’ll be leaving with a cleanup crew 🙂 or at least the first installments of one.

 

Since they aren’t going too wild yet I’m gonna avoid dosing the water with any more chems and see if time and patience can fix.

Share this post


Link to post
banasophia

Oh… hmmm… I guess you are probably referring to the Microbacter 7… I don’t really consider Microbacter 7 a chemical, I view it as more of a part of the cleanup crew/livestock on the microscopic level since it’s several types of beneficial bacteria. 

But yes, could just monitor for now and see if it resolves on its own. Good too to get your parameters checked. 

 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
horseysurprise

Parameters were perfect 🙂 so I came home with a cleaning crew. Several crabs, snails and starfish to start getting to work on all this algae (I did scoop out most of the dino slime though - I believe the slimy stuff can be toxic when it dies?).
 

7EFEE0EE-C868-4A3F-A682-289EF89A759C.thumb.jpeg.2bdd48de5e306239e3b02b671340377f.jpeg

 

Saturday I will bring my mixed saltwater to my aquarium guy and he’s going to show me how to dose it with calcium (I was at about 400, so on the low side). I don’t think I really need to be shown that, but why not, since I’m going there anyways.. at that point it’ll be first water change, swap out some filter media, and bring home a shrimp and a coral 🥳

 

Some additional pictures (I really wish they’d get off the starfish, he was on the glass initially - should I be worried?)

 

F4CC3C7F-C119-4482-88C7-E764C772BF4B.thumb.jpeg.c8a32eb0d5c71da5c18116083e1f2eb7.jpeg

 

F65024C0-5B84-45C5-8F92-D66B04E68640.thumb.jpeg.8146aeae8259b5c401eb5ee06406d2be.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
horseysurprise

I’m also just now noticing these guys - copepods? They never were around before but I can see at least four just at the front of my tank now. 
 

7B6AD54C-AA39-4959-81AC-33C9F7D5BD81.thumb.jpeg.3d4544302c01c2ed9020a419ea6ac830.jpeg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
W1ll
30 minutes ago, horseysurprise said:

I’m also just now noticing these guys - copepods? They never were around before but I can see at least four just at the front of my tank now. 
 

7B6AD54C-AA39-4959-81AC-33C9F7D5BD81.thumb.jpeg.3d4544302c01c2ed9020a419ea6ac830.jpeg

They look more like amphipods to me, copepods are typically much smaller, ~1mm. They are beneficial to have in a system as well

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
horseysurprise
1 hour ago, W1ll said:

They look more like amphipods to me, copepods are typically much smaller, ~1mm. They are beneficial to have in a system as well

Ooh yep, thank you for the ID on that!

Share this post


Link to post
hooligan_78

Off to a good start. I wouldn't necessarily worry about the calcium dosing just yet, as you don't have much in there. Also, a good salt mix and water changes will help balance that. I legit just ordered that tank today. Following along.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
banasophia

Glad the parameters are looking good. You may want to do a bit of research on sand sifting stars in a nano, if you haven’t had a chance yet… I seem to recall that they aren’t usually recommended for a nano tank because they are at risk of eating everything in the sandbed then burying themselves and dying. And I think this could especially be a risk in a brand new tank that won’t have much for it to eat in the sand. 
 

I keep 1-2 of the large white nassarius snails in my tanks instead (I think they are Tongan nassarius snails) as sand sifters and scavengers. I also siphon or stir my sand during weekly water changes. And I added asterina stars to my Evo 5 when it got older, so I’d have some little sea stars for my daughter to enjoy, but you do have to be aware that they are sometimes considered pests and some varieties eat corals, particularly zoas. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
horseysurprise

Sands pretty dirty, but I’ll have to ask my aquarium guy about that since I did in fact read that also (about the sand sifting starfish) - may need to give him back at some point. 

 

Came home today with a couple corals (he told me what they were but I honestly forgot already - I just asked for a couple of hardy “beginner” types), a fire shrimp, and a pair of clowns 🙂 we did dose my clean saltwater with a few things (corals gotta eat) and I did a 20% water change when I got home to put those nutrients in there.


In the back of the fluvial, where there’s room for a protein skimmer, I stuffed a bunch of filter floss and will be changing that out regularly. I cleaned out the filter media holder.. thing.. that comes with the tank, by putting it in a bowl of RO/DI freshwater and just squeezing it and scrubbing at it to get the pieces of algae out. Water turns green/grey during this process. I’ll need to look up how soon I need to replace the filter media bags.. or might upgrade the filter setup completely. For now I think filter floss will help. 
 

for the clowns, Spirulina frozen brine shrimp and mysis - gonna dissolve a pellet of that in a shot glass of salt water tomorrow and drop it in, hopefully the clowns will be a bit less shy. Gonna do that every other day. They have a spot they’re hiding in, and they’ll come out when the room is empty but the female will go back in and hide when I come in the room, with the male floating in front of the “entrance” (protective? Kinda cute). Giving them space for now, don’t want to stress them. 
 

Side note: snails have also been doing a great job cleaning the glass, hoping that continues 

 

F9B5FE41-197D-42AD-94BD-8A367AEE4577.thumb.jpeg.8a419ec1b1dbf00f2a02bbd40565aee1.jpeg

 

011940D0-50FC-48E4-A282-DA908F50972C.thumb.jpeg.8bf4c3409cdafeb2256b3442acd530cf.jpeg

 

6ACB3940-9938-426A-BA11-308BBAE28A9C.thumb.jpeg.8745e4510e046b893b5b73b92fba3a5c.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
horseysurprise
On 10/15/2021 at 6:26 AM, hooligan_78 said:

Off to a good start. I wouldn't necessarily worry about the calcium dosing just yet, as you don't have much in there. Also, a good salt mix and water changes will help balance that. I legit just ordered that tank today. Following along.

Hey thanks! And thanks for following. I’m just using instant ocean for salt, nothing fancy. And yeah the calcium was probably low due to waiting over a month for the cycle to finish and not doing any water changes during that time .. which is completely understandable.
 

The dosing was more for the corals I added, I believe, and that included calcium likely because they’re gonna have a demand for it. He told me what it was being dosed with but I forgot - had a bunch of customers when I was there today so I wasn’t trying to take too many notes, but I’m supposed to send him a pic tomorrow of everything and we will tag up then. Will obviously need to be able to do this sort of thing on my own in the future. 

Share this post


Link to post
W1ll

Do you have any pictures of the corals you picked up?

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
banasophia

Not sure if it’s just the photos, maybe algae or reflection on your glass… but your fish look like they may be sick?

  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
horseysurprise
On 10/17/2021 at 12:57 AM, banasophia said:

Not sure if it’s just the photos, maybe algae or reflection on your glass… but your fish look like they may be sick?

no.. you're right.. they were dead by midday 😕

 

I feel terrible. The two fish and the shrimp are dead. I really ####ed up. Like.. I truly feel terrible. I'd delete this account except I feel like sharing this experience is probably valuable for the people reading, so I'll write it out.

 

First thing my aquarium guy said, is there any chance windex could have gotten in? (Or hair gel, but not applicable). I said yeah.. I sprayed windex nowhere near the tank, into a paper towel, and then used that to clean the lower parts of the glass, nowhere near the rim. He said that was enough, and gave me a few stories. I think he was a little heartbroken too.

 

I thought spraying it NOWHERE NEAR the tank and just wiping it on the glass would be ok, but either the ammonia or the alcohol in aerosol cleaners is a bad thing.

Worst thing is, I have seachem prime on hand. I should've dosed the water change with that, but I didn't. I dropped some in after I removed the dead fish + shrimp and I am happy to say the crabs, snails and star are all okay.. but they were definitely lethargic today prior to the dose. I'll do water changes and just maintain the cleanup crew for another month before trying again. 😞

 

On a bright note, the coral are doing great - but he said that's expected and it more leads towards the windex theory.

On 10/17/2021 at 12:13 AM, W1ll said:

Do you have any pictures of the corals you picked up?

 

I'll post a pic of the corals tomorrow when the lights are back on - they are doing well, at least!

  • Confused 1
  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
hooligan_78

It wasn't the Windex homie. Those fish were sick. As much as we want to trust our LFS, don't forget they are a business, the more fish die, the more they sell. Beginner pains man, you'll get past it. I wouldn't have done those clowns in that tank as they will get BIG and mean. But, if you're worried about things like that, use vinegar to clean your aquarium. 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
banasophia

Sorry about your fish. 😢 I agree with @hooligan_78 it was not the windex. Looked like maybe velvet to me in the pics, but I’m no fish disease expert. What were your ammonia and nitrite levels, and salinity? You should see if you can do some research and figure out what it most likely was because if it was velvet or ich you need to keep your tank fallow with no fish for a period of time so the disease dies off and doesn’t infect/kill more fish you add to the system. 
 

Also agree with @hooligan_78 to consider a different type of clownfish for a nano tank when it comes time to add new fish. Take this time to do more research. I know it’s a lot to figure out in the beginning, just try to take your time.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recommended Discussions

×
×
  • Create New...