First timer on 29 gal going for reef - Aquarium Forum
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post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-06-2012, 01:29 AM Thread Starter
 
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First timer on 29 gal going for reef

hello all this is my first try ever at any aquarium so any help or suggestion is greatly appreciated. Picked up 25 gallons of saltautolinker.com autolinking image water from my local spot and a bag of some live reef sand. Wiped down the tank with water and dropped the sand in there. Then I poured the 29 gallons in, set my skilter, dropped in some ph control and bio culture additive. Pics below
Here's a pic of the tank after everything was done


Here's a pic of my skilters box


Here's a closer look at the skilter operating. Still gotta add some live rocks and I'm assuming 3-4 gallons of saltautolinker.com autolinking image water so water level is a bit low.


And here are the bio culture and ph control.


Hoping to get the conditions in there ready for some nice looking reef for a few fish to make it their home. I still need to get a good lighting system and i don't even know where to begin with what type of fish I want to set up in here.

Last edited by StangBanger0830@gmail.com; 10-06-2012 at 01:45 AM.
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post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-09-2012, 07:55 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: First timer on 29 gal going for reef

Yesterday I added 15lbs of live rock. I knew I would get some life in there from the rocks but I'm excited to say I've seen multiple thin black and white striped starfish and others which I don't even know what they might be. Going to let it settle for a week or two then get the water tested to see if the water has cycled or not. Pics below.



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post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-09-2012, 09:23 AM
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Re: First timer on 29 gal going for reef

You need at least 30lbs of Live Rock in there. And that SKilter is not going to do anything for you. You need at least a power head rated at 300gph or 2 powerheads rated at 150gph each. Again, that skilter has no flow. You rgoing to need a heater, a Refracotmeter.


#1-Dry Rock, there are a few hitchhikers on Live Rock that people want to stay away from, so they opt for using Dry Rock, or Dead Rock. Macro Rock is a good place to start looking for that. Either way you go you will need a minimum of 1lb per gallon.

#2-Replacement filter media like filter floss and activated carbon (if you get a filter) Which is really not necessary.

#3-Multiple Power heads (2 or 3) 10x your water volume for just a Fish Only With Live Rock, and at least 20x your water volume for a Reef Tank. So lets say your going reef, and you have a 100g tank, you would need flow in that tank at minimum of 2000gph, or 2 1000gph power heads.

#4-Protein Skimmer, rated at 2 times your water volume. Unless your tank is under 30g, in which case you can do 10% water changes a week to rid the system of detrius. But, you'll have to watch the water parameters close, if things go haywire, you'll have to do more water changes.

#5-Saltwater Test Kits. Reef Test Kit. Test for Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates, PH, Phosphates, Calcium, ALK and Magnesium.

#6-Saltwater fish food. Mysis Shrimp, Squid, Cyclopease, Algae Sheets, Romaine . Flake food is not really a good food to feed your marine fish.

#7-Aquarium vacuum. This one is iffy. Most don't use one, if you have enough flow in the tank you won’t need one

#8-Rubber kitchen gloves

#9-Fish net

#10-Two, clean, never used before, 5-gallon buckets

#11-Aquarium thermometer, digital being the best.

#12-Brush with plastic bristles (old tooth brush) - needed for cleaning the live rock if you don't get Fully Cured Live Rock.

#13-Power Strip, possibly GFCI outlets by the tank.

#14-Optional but definitely recommend getting a Reverse Osmosis or RO/Deionization filter for the make-up water, and a barrel for storing the water.

#15-Possibly a Quarantine Tank for your new fish. They sit in here for a few weeks to kill off parasites and bacteria, to keep it from getting in your main tank

#16-Heater rated for your size tank.

#17-Saltwater Mix. Marine Salt. Instant Ocean is the cheap Salt that beginners and Advanced use alike.

#18-Saltwater Hydrometer or even better a Refractometer, which is more accurate. There is also a Digital Meter that is way advanced if you have the cash.

#19-Aquarium filter (not absolutely necessary if running with adequate amounts of live rock, but nice to have if you need to use a mechanical filter or activated carbon, or GFO and such)

#20-Aquarium substrate such as live sand or crushed coral. Some go bare Bottom, others choose the 2-3" bottom, others, more advanced will try the Deep Sand Bed, which is over 6" deep.

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post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-09-2012, 10:19 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: First timer on 29 gal going for reef

Whoa..lots of info. Thank you. It's is what I was fearing. Now I'm stuck with a skilter I don't wanna use. I highly doubt the stores gonna allow me to return the skilter but I will try that being that I told them my intentions with the tank. Will definitely get more live rock and I will look into a better filter, heater , thermometer, and lights. As far as the RO water filter can't I get away with just buying saltautolinker.com autolinking image water from the store? Or are there problems with that water I need to be careful for? Once again, thanks for the information and help.
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post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-09-2012, 10:57 AM
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Re: First timer on 29 gal going for reef

You don't need a filter. A Skimmer would do yiu much better, especially if your going with corals. There are no issues with buying saltautolinker.com autolinking image water from the lfs, just costly. =)

My 240g Reef Tank Pics
Water Parameter: Alk-8:PH-8.2:Cal420:Phosphate.05:Temp77:Nitrates-20:Mag1250:SG1.025
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post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-09-2012, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: First timer on 29 gal going for reef

Damn.. I'm a little bitter that they just pushed this skilter on me for the sale instead of pointing me in the right direction. Should've been more patient doing research before I bought that. Ohh well... I'm still excited about my tank so I won't let that one store deter me. Luckily the lfs I bought my rocks from seemed very friendly and professional. Will stick with them.
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post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-09-2012, 10:15 PM
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Re: First timer on 29 gal going for reef


My 240g Reef Tank Pics
Water Parameter: Alk-8:PH-8.2:Cal420:Phosphate.05:Temp77:Nitrates-20:Mag1250:SG1.025
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post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-21-2012, 02:13 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: First timer on 29 gal going for reef

Wow..changed it up a bit. I now have a 29gal oceanic biocube. I've removed some water after adding some live rock to it and cycled in 1 gal of RO water. Salinity is a ill high i was told by lfs so I'm cycling in 4 gal of freshautolinker.com autolinking image RO water at a rate of 1 gal per day. I've also added 5 peppermint shrimp, 3 emerald crabs, and 1 small horseshoe crab. I'll add pics later. Long day.
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post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-21-2012, 10:31 AM
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Re: First timer on 29 gal going for reef

Hope your new additions make it through the cycle.
Lil info on Horse Shoe Crabs
saltwaterautolinker.com autolinking image Aquarium Inverts for Marine Reef Aquariums: Horseshoe Crab

My 240g Reef Tank Pics
Water Parameter: Alk-8:PH-8.2:Cal420:Phosphate.05:Temp77:Nitrates-20:Mag1250:SG1.025
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post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-14-2012, 11:25 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: First timer on 29 gal going for reef

Ok..so things have changed. Got a 29 gal biocube and I've been running it successfully until now. I have added 2 clowns and I feed them every other day. Some frozen brine shrimp. I just did a water change and dropped in 5 gallons of saltautolinker.com autolinking image water from my lfs. Two days before the water change my calcium was at 140ppm(too low for reef) ammonia is at 0, phosphate is at .25ppm, nitrate was at 20ppm. After the 5 gallons of saltautolinker.com autolinking image water calcium has gone up to 200ppm (almost there) ammonia still at 0, KH is at 215, phosphate has gone down to 0, but my nitrate was jumped to 40ppm! After a 5 gallon water change? Should I do another water change or what's the best way to correct this as of right now? I don't believe I'm over feeding. I have found 2 dime sized crab shells which must've snuck in with the live rock. Maybe their carcasses decaying somewhere in there is what has caused this nitrate jump?
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post #11 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-14-2012, 11:35 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: First timer on 29 gal going for reef

Some pics..
Brittle starfish..there's a couple in there..I believe this is the largest.


Here are my two clowns and new polyp on top left. Anyone know the name of it?


Original setup of rock


Here's the horseshoe crab. Can anyone identify the black and white snail there?


Here is a polyp I bought that had two different types on it but the brighter one has disappeared. Anyone know the name of the survivor?


Anyone know what this is?


Final setup


Sorry if some pics don't show..trying to work photobucket with my iPad is a PIA.

Last edited by StangBanger0830@gmail.com; 11-14-2012 at 11:43 AM. Reason: iPad and photobucket aren't friends.
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post #12 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-14-2012, 06:19 PM
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Re: First timer on 29 gal going for reef

Great looking tank! Is the water your getting from the LFS pre-made using R/O water or are you getting their old water? Do you know what saltautolinker.com autolinking image they are using?

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post #13 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-14-2012, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: First timer on 29 gal going for reef

I know they have RO water so I'm assuming it is however I dunno how they mix it up. I called them about the nitrate.. We figured out it could be because I siphoned top layer of sand to remove algae. Should level out within two days I was told.
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post #14 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-17-2012, 10:09 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: First timer on 29 gal going for reef

Checked numbers yesterday and
calcium is at 440ppm
Ammonia is at 0ppm
KH is at 230ppm
Phosphate 0ppm
Nitrate 80ppm!
Shouldn't the 5 gallon water change I just did help lower that? I know siphoning the top layer of sand to clean it causes a spike in nitrate. But it keeps getting worse. I haven't been over feeding ( every other day)
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post #15 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-18-2012, 01:08 PM
 
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Re: First timer on 29 gal going for reef

You can always do more water changes to get the nitrates down. Just because your feeding every other day does not mean your not over feeding. Feed a very small amount. Make sure it is being comsumed. You can always add alittle more. Do you have a turkey baster to blow off your live rock? Food can get caught up and then decay causing your nitrates to go up. Did you get a skimmer? I had a skilter when I first started. I hated that thing.

Last edited by shutter; 11-18-2012 at 01:10 PM. Reason: spelling?
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post #16 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-18-2012, 02:44 PM
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Re: First timer on 29 gal going for reef

I would change water , as 80 is about 2x as high as acceptable max.I would also change 50% as that should lower your level to 40.If it does not and your water (for change) came from lfs I woulld seek another source.The water,and its quality are key.The lfs probably sells straight ro and you could mix saltautolinker.com autolinking image yourself.Either way I would also test the water you get(saltautolinker.com autolinking image{premixed} or RO) and see if it is up to "snuff".My buddy buys RO when he doesn't get it from me and swears the store bought not to be as good.If mixing is not out of the question distilled water is like $.89 a gallon at walmart.(distilled is good stuff).

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post #17 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-18-2012, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: First timer on 29 gal going for reef

Shutter: no..no baster..but I will get one. And I believe about 95% of food dropped in is being consumed. The other 5% might get trapped on rocks or back by the bio balls. I'll try feeding little by little to ensure it all gets consumed. Will also get baster to blow off rocks which seem to be doing a lot better since I dropped in the 12 turbo snails which two died To be fair to the skilter knowing what I know now I feel it would've been ok for my previous 29g rectangular with two power heads and some decent lights. I haven't added a skimmer yet. I was going to get the biocube specific skimmer that just drops in the back but I've read many mixed reviews. I was thinking of upgrading to something more powerful that I can fit back there. I also feel I need more flow in there so I was thinking of changing out the stock pump for something with around 400gph flow and put a splitter to have an outlet where the stock one is and another towards the middle of the tank. While adding a power head with about 250gph on the right side of the tank facing forward.

Coral bandit: I did last time I added some and unfortunately I only tested salinity. Think ill just go to lfs I originally got my 25 gallons when I first cycled the tank. It cycled quick. I feel they had good h20. Can I change 15 gallons one gallon a day or can I change more at once without negatively affecting my tank?

Last edited by StangBanger0830@gmail.com; 11-18-2012 at 09:48 PM.
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post #18 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-19-2012, 04:39 AM
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Re: First timer on 29 gal going for reef

In order to reduce nitrAtes you should change as much all at once as possible.Your filter appears cycled(per test readings) so as long as water is close to tank temp should be fine to change all 15 at once.Changing only a litttle will dilute the nitrates ,instead of removing as much.
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post #19 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-19-2012, 12:21 PM
 
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Re: First timer on 29 gal going for reef

Bioballs are doing the same thing as your live rock. You really don't need those bioballs. I run only carbon and one filter pad, that I clean out every two days. As long as you have good flow, the rock will stay clean, and everything will get exported to your filter pad.
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post #20 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-19-2012, 12:32 PM
 
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Re: First timer on 29 gal going for reef

The red worm is called a bristle worm. They eat left over food particles, and detritus. Some people remove them, I have no problem with them. If you over feed alot I have seen tanks where they are everwhere. Stores have traps for bristle worms. Or you can make your own. (diy) The choice is yours. As long as you don't see them all over everything. I would just leave them be.
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