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About colinlevy

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  • Birthday 05/19/1992

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    Nashville, TN
  1. Thanks for the words. I wish I could take credit for the scape. I just bought and cleaned them. The girlfriend came up with that setup. ---- Day 5 Not much new on the cycle. The ammonia still is at 2 ppm, but nitrite is up to 1 (maybe a 1.5), so it's rising a bit every day. Just waited for the ammonia to drop some. Took some of my water to the LFS just to be sure I was getting good readings, and ours matched, so I am happy with my API Saltwater Test Kit. It's not great, hard to differentiate the color chart, but it's bearable for the price. Still having a little trouble with my skimmer. I have it on the lowest setting, and after a day of evaporation it seems like it barely skims again until I topoff some. I even have the tank level pretty high. Not sure what else to do here. I work out of town so there are days I am not home to top off. Guess I will have to look into a ATO unit for my little nano tank. Also ended up taking out the Hydor Koralia 240 (for now). It just seemed like that on top of the upgraded AQ600 tank pump, the water movement was just a bit much, was blowing sand everywhere. I adjusted the 240 probably 25 times, and every place it was pointed it would blow up the sand so much there would be huge holes on the bed. Maybe I will try it again later on.
  2. That's what I figured, just was under the impression I got it all off before putting it in the tank and didn't see any of it the first 3 days of cycling ---- Day 4: Woke up and tested the parameters of the cylce. Ammonia still has been steady at 2-3 ppm for the last couple days, but the nitrite seems to be rising slightly to 0.50 from 0.25 yesterday. If the ammonia drops below 1 ppm tomorrow morning I will add some more Dr. Tim's Ammonium Chloride. Still going to wait a few days to test nitrate. pH of 7.8, salinity of 1.025, and water temp between 79-80.2 The particles that stated appearing on the surface about 18 hours ago are still swirling up there. Thought maybe I would try to add some more current in the tank so I put in my Hydor Koralia 240 to help. Going to let it run for the rest of the day and see how it is.
  3. @RIP Sebastian Cycle is going pretty well. Ammonia has been about 2ppm the first few days and on day 3 I started getting about 0.25 of nitrite. I haven't done anything different with the tank besides getting a mag-float to clean the streaks on the inside. Tonight I noticed quite a bit of particles floating around the top of the tank (thought it was sand at first but much finer than sand). The skimmer was pulling some in but didn't seem to ever reduce the amount (waited a few hours). While using the mag-float I noticed it was kicking some of it up, so then I thought maybe the mag float was dirty when I put it in the tank....nope. I kind of gave up and I got my turkey bastor out to blow some of the sand off the rocks (done this a few times already just to keep it clean) but this time it started really throwing particles EVERYWHERE, to the point the tank looked like I just started a leaf blower in the tank. These particles weren't here last time I cleaned the sand off the rocks. It was EVERYWHERE and was definitely coming off the rocks. Either way it doesn't seem like the skimmer will get everything and just swirling it around, so not sure what else to do. Maybe it will go away in a few days. --- @SaltyBuddha Thanks for the follow! This is all brand new to me so probably won't be of too much help! Most of this is trial and error (hopefully not much error...for the fishes sake!)
  4. I bought a white 4 cubed shelf from Ikea for my 5g Fluval Spec. It was $35 plus bought a couple drawers for the shelf for another $25. I plan to buy some legs for it at the hardware store to raise it off the carpet. Don't have Ikea around me, so was $75 shipped to my door. Probably won't fit your 10g (my 5g is right at the weight limit), but there are a lot of other good affordable options at Ikea
  5. I don't mind draining most of the water to put some more sand in (which I will probably do because I would like to have shrimp), but is that just to make it easier on me or does that have to do with the cycle?
  6. Was almost midnight when I finished last night, so decided to let it clear up a little overnight and start kick starting the cycle this morning (consider today day 1). Using Dr. Tim's One and Only as well as the Ammonium Chloride. I am following the fish-less cycling schedule they recommend on their website ( Added 2.0 ppm of ammonia as well as the recommended dosage of One and Only and going to let it be till tomorrow. pH tested at 7.9 and salinity of 1.025 with a water temperature of 79 degrees. Read a lot of mixed opinions on using the light for cycling, but decided I am going to keep it on a short cycle, so not on too long.
  7. Thanks everyone! @RIP SebastianI will just let the air bubbles be then. Do you think I should add more sand? I bought a 10lb bag of live sand and it recommended 1Ib per gallon of water...which would be half the bag. I have used almost 3/4 of the bag and only have about an inch of sand bed. Seems like most people have 1-2" of substrate. @Christopher Marks I used WaterWeld gel by JB. I didn't want to have to wait to get some shipped made specifically for this purpose and found a couple threads online of people using this in their tank and said it was safe. Was rock solid shut when I added water last night. So just picked it up from Home Depot for $5.
  8. Been a long time coming, but finally decided to make the jump from FW to SW, and why not make life hard on myself and get a nano. Going to continue to update the status of my new build in this thread. Hopefully I can learn some things from you all. If you see something wrong, or I say something stupid, please let me know. I only can gain knowledge from knowing. Let's start with the hard facts first... Tank: Fluval Spec V (modded to cover up bottom slit leading into filtration section) Pump: Aqueon AQ600 159gph Filtration: Fluval Spec Media Basket (floss/chemipure elite/purigen) Heater: Hydor 50W Heater Circulation: Hydor Koralia 240 (not sure if necessary, the AQ600 seems to really move water) Light: Current USA Orbit Marine 18-24" LED Light Here is the tank in all its glory after the slight modification (probably should of found some black putty/epoxy...kind of an eye sore) The rocks I had to work with. Ordered 2-3 pounds of a few different types from BRS to give me options The Fluval Spec Media Basket with a thing of floss for the tank cycle. I am impressed in the quality of this product. It was a little pricey, but I heard nothing good about the stock block of filter...if you call it that. Everything setup in the compartments. Had a lot of issues with the surface skimmer, but I FINALLY got it working after I took some section of it off. Needed somewhere to put all my supplies, so had to take over our utility/cleaning closet. Put in the sand, rocks, and water last night and went to bed. Woke up this morning to it getting a little more clear. I need to figure out where to adjust the pump nozzle so it stops blowing all the sand in piles (see bottom also dug up all the sand behind one of the rocks) Noticed all these pockets of air beneath the sand bed. Is that normal?
  9. Well I took all your advice and went ahead and bought a Sprectrapure 4-stage 90 gpd unit I did the math including ro/di water, drive to my LFS and my time, and it will take about 11.5 months to make up the cost of the unit. But who knows, maybe I will step up to a larger tank before then, it will make up the cost quicker. Either way I think I made the right choice. I have been reading that people have been using the waste water to do laundry, water plants, etc. I would like to make use of my waste water (mostly because I am Jewish and Jews don't waste stuff), and probably will use it to do laundry. I don't exactly know how a washing machine works when it comes to water level. So lets say my machine takes 15 gallons to do a medium load and I dumb in 10 gallons of waste water and turn the machine on. Will it sense the 10 gallons and only put in an additional 5 or will it just put in 15 more gallons because it doesn't know there is water in the machine. Thanks!
  10. I ended up getting some Dr. Tim's One and Only and Ammonium Chloride free from a friend, so I suppose I will go that way with cycling the dry rock/tank. Questions time: 1.) As far as cleaning my dry rock beforehand, I was planning on just rinsing it in RO/DI water and doing some scrubbing on it. It actually looks pretty clean. Is the acid/vinegar bath I read about necessary? 2.) I have the media basket for the Fluval Spec. During the tank cycling, should I just run the media basket with may some floss only? No point in really using anything until the tank is cycled I suppose... 3.) During the cycling process, what should my equipment be set to? I am guessing just my pump and heater on? What about other stuff such as the light, on/off (I have the Current USA Marine LED 18") or the power head? (Hydor Koralia 240).
  11. I posted a few days ago about RO/DI and you guys really helped out and swayed my decision...for the best. I finally have all my equipment/supplies/water ready to put together and start to cycle. I will be using a Fluval Spec V (5g) with a few pounds of dry rock (haven't decided the type yet, bought a bit of every type from BRS) and live sand as my substrate. Now I have been researching for weeks on end and think I understand the whole cycle process and how each phase works and what I should be looking for/testing. But what I am slightly confused about is the ammonia/bacteria. Since I will be using ONLY dry rock, I have read I should seed with some LR from an established tank/LFS. I have decided I don't want to do this. My LFS is pretty shady and I don't trust their rocks (or anything there tbh). So up to this point I will have live sand in my tank with the dry rock, but what does this exactly do? It is not enough to start the cycle, and see ammonia,correct? I have read a lot about people using chemicals such as Dr. Tims One and Only / Ammonium Chloride to help it kick off. Is it possible to cycle without LR or the chemicals? Would ghost feeding and/or putting in a part of a shrimp alone be enough? Should I do both? While talking about chemicals, I am overwhelmed by the amount I see on the shelves when I walk through the LFS. It seems like their is a bottle for EVERYTHING. Is it possible to have a nano tank and not need any of these chemicals? Are some crucial? ***Now before you tell me to read the forums and I can probably find my answers, I did...and I was overwhelmed with the information and each person got a different answer and a lot of non uniform answers.
  12. Yeah I actually did a lot of research today on home RO/DI units and I don't want to spend hundreds of dollars, but also don't want to buy a cheap one and have to replace it in a year. But I found a few in my price range. Will probably buy RO/DI water from my LFS for a few months until I get comfortable with everything.
  13. Okay, that is understandable. Just seems like a a pain to only have to mix a few gallons a week (as it's only a 5g tank) for WC and evaporation. Could you possibly recommend one of those salts that don't have the vitamins and organics?
  14. I will probably aerate mine because I have an extra 50W heater and Maxi-Jet 600 pump sitting around So with this setup, I continuously have the water salted and heated. So the first time I fill the 7g storage bucket with RO/DI water, I will immediately salt it to get it to the correct level. From this point forward do I aerate it 24/7 (just keep the pump running all the time), or can I run it once in a while or just run it only when I add more RO/DI water and need to add more salt and right before water changes? Just a bit confused
  15. I am BRAND NEW to saltwater. I am building a nano reef (should have everything for it this coming up week and start cycling it...but that will be it's own topic). I have been researching and preparing for months and am finally ready to start. It is only going to be a 5 gallon tank (Fluval Spec V), so I can't bring myself to buy/setup an ro/di unit in my home (I live in an apartment anyways), and found a LPS near me that sells it at a good price. Now I read that ro/di water can last quite a while, though with my living so close to somewhere to get it and my lack of space at home, I would only want to keep maybe 5 gallons at a time in storage at my home. (if you only do 20% changes every week, 5 gallons is over a month supply). Now my question is with storing it. I was thinking about just getting a 7 gallon bucket and lid from Lowes and storing it in there. That should be okay, right? Also, can i keep this water continuously heated to my reefs temperature and salted to the correct salinity? Is this bad? Just so during weekly changes it can be a little easier? (I'd keep a separate small jug of pure ro/di water for evaporation) Thanks for the help! Be gentle with me!