So, I've made some good progress on the tank in the last couple weeks and need to update here.
I decided what type rocks I would add, arranged them and epoxied some of the more unsteady pieces. The rock was from a tank I bought a couple years ago, just been sitting in a bucket in the garage since then, so happy I can finally put it to use. I decided to not add a ton of rock, as I wanted plenty of swimming room for fish and plenty of room for coral to grow out. I didn't have a beer bottle for scale so I used a ketchup bottle, hope that's ok
I liked this rock, has a cool little cave inside
Here's the rock in the tank the way I like it. A few pieces have epoxy helping to hold them in their spot. Wow, epoxy is sooo much easier to use on DRY rock! I'll be adding a few more small pieces of live rock and a little sand from 75g tank to help the tank cycle/seed the dead rock.
Happy day, filled the tank with saltwater Also rigged up the Marineland LED strip light I got at the MACNA dinner this past fall (was "free"). They're not currently available for sale, I guess these were prototype lights that they gave away. Had to drill into the plastic and also drill into the clips that came with it in order to mount it in the tank. I'll use these as actinics-daybreak-sunset type lights. They're submersible and I do have them under water, was a little scared at first, but they seem fine so far
The powerhead in there is a Tunze Nanostream Turbelle 6055. Not sure I like the placement, as the front curved glass seems to magnify it, but this spot does seem to provide the best water circulation vs. a side-mounted spot. I'm going to try it on the left-hand side and see how it does there. Its ramped down to 12v right now, although 15v was fine too. Any higher than that and sand started to kick up.
Last edited by phishcrazee; 01-30-2012 at 10:45 AM.
Here's a shot of the LED's mounted in the tank with zip ties I didn't even have black zip ties, I actually colored the tops of these with a sharpie, lol Works for me I figure its barely visible........
Here they are out of the box; just a strip of 36 sets/72 LED lights. Not sure what the specs are, it didn't come with any of that, just very basic directions.
Started cycling the tank. I expected to get some ammonia from the dead rock and sand, inevitable, even though it was rinsed well with clean saltwater before going dry. Sure enough, first reading of ammonia was at .75ppm. That's fine, saves me from adding any ammonia To cycle the tank, I'm using a combo of DrTim's One and Only nitrifying bacteria, and a small amount of live sand and live rock from my established tank. I included the ammonia chloride they sell in the picture as well, even though I didn't need to use it, just so people can see that you don't need to use dead shrimp or live fish to cycle your tank, you can buy pure ammonia for ~$3.xx a bottle and its more humane and more precise that the aforementioned methods
Here's all the live rock that I could cram into the small space provided in the back compartment. Also added a couple pieces to the display. They include several small bags of bioballs, which I have in there for now. You'll hear that bioballs are a "nitrate factory", but I think its one of those catch phrases that gets passed around a lot in reefing that's not *necessarily* true. I think they can be, if not maintained. They can hold a lot of detritus, but they can also function like live rock, being a home for beneficial bacteria. I think they just need to be rinsed out occasionally with clean sw; not sure if I want to do that or not on a regular basis, so they're in there for now.
Another ghetto fix, this one for a noisy skimmer intake, and I'll have to modify it again, because right now, it looks like an antenna on the tank It's simply a pill bottle drilled at each end with some cotton in the middle to muffle the air intake tube to the skimmer. The pump to the skimmer was a little loud too, together with the intake sucking air noise was driving me a little batty so I just added the silencer on the existing tubing. Will have to lengthen the tubing so I can hide it though.......the pump has quieted too, must have just needed some breaking in.
Now just waiting for the tank to finish cycling, started it on 1/22/12. I *think* the ammonia peaked at 1ppm and may be on the down slide now, need to test again today and see where things are at...........
Decided on the lighting, a Kessil A150w LED fixture in 10k, upon a recommendation from a friend who has a friend who has them, lol I liked the look of the fixture, sort of matched the shaped on the tank. Its also pretty small, so less distraction from the clean look of the tank. HERE's the link if anyone is interested.
Tank finished cycling yesterday, woohoo! 16 days from start to finish, not too bad........so now the fun begins! Going to do a water change this morning, as the nitrates are ~10ppm from the cycle, then will try and catch my orange skunk clowns from my 75g and add them in. Hopefully, their LTA will follow, lol, wish me luck prying up his foot!
Light came last week, just waiting for some coral in the tank to set it up. Love that the shape looks like a small version of the tank
Decided I wanted to add some macro algae to the display. They're just as colorful as many coral and *may* help with some nutrient uptake if I'm lucky. They won't be shipped until next week though, as it's a little cold here this week, but the seller let me post his pictures here so you can see what I'll be getting
Red grape (Botryocladia) (tall stuff in the middle)
Also moved the powerhead to the lefthand side of the tank, mainly for aesthetics. The front curved glass magnified it, and although coral or macros may eventually hide it somewhat, it was just bugging me now. Monkeyed with the loc-line and the end came off one end Can't get it back on either, grrrr
Next update should have some LIVING things to see in the tank
So got the light up and running, I LIKE IT! The directions say to mount it 1-2' above the area to be illuminated, but since I have a glass cover on the tank right now, I thought it should be closer, so I have it just 4-5" above the water. I wrote to Kessil asking about placement with the glass cover in place and their reply was that as long as the glass isn't getting hot to just make sure there was some space in between the glass and light fixture. The glass is barely warm where it is now, so cool (literally!), as I'm used to how hot halides run.
I took a little video clip so you can see the light "in action". The LTA and clownfish pair are in the tank now and settled in, as you'll see. The lights are very shimmery and remind me a lot of natural sunlight and very similar to halides as far as brightness. In the clip, it looks a bit more spotlighty than it does in real life, anyways, here it is.......
Here are the orange skunk clowns and their anemone
Also bought a pair of antenna gobies, thinking I would get a pistol shrimp for them; seemed like it would be cool to have a bunch of symbiotic relationships going on in the tank. However, I didn't see the gobies for 2 days after adding them, then found one laying on a filter pad in the back compartment (was still alive). I threw him back in, he seemed ok, but I'm kicking myself for not taking his picture, as he hasn't been spotted since I rescued him Not sure what happened to them, so bummed about it. They were/are very tiny, ~ an inch or so big, so they can hide pretty well, but I thought I would see them when I fed the tank, so I'm assuming they somehow met their end :/
I'm afraid this is the only picture you'll ever see of them, its just the head/face of one hiding under a rock after I first added them.
Also added a molly a bit before the gobies for algae control. They have a tank of them acclimated to SW at one of my LFS, so I decided to get one, as they're very mellow. Just before going to bed, I saw one of our cats playing with something on the floor near the fishtank , yep, molly had somehow jumped through the narrow crack between the glass lid and the tank I gave the cat the boot and snatched up the fish and threw her back in; she seemed ok, only a few torn fins
Added 6 small margharita snails and they've done a fine job helping with the diatom bloom I've had. Nothing too exciting happening with them thankfully
My macro algae came in the mail yesterday and I got them into the tank. They're all small now, but hopefully they'll grow and thrive in the next couple months. They seemed to ship ok, although the dragon's breath is fluorescent orange right now and the blue ochtode is a mauve/purple color. The person I bought them from tells me this is normal and they should change back to their original colors at some point I have them wedged in with frag plugs or glued to one as they hopefully take hold of the rock........
Not a ton of exciting things to post about, but thought I'd update. Mainly doing a lot of little things that need to be done and doing things to make tank operation more automated.........
lengthened the tubing for the skimmer's airline so you can't see the silencer bottle.
Re-clamped and re-postioned the light fixture's gooseneck, so the lid fits on the tank better.
One bigger project has been trying to tame all the wires and organize all the equipment so I know what's what. Bought a Reefkeeper Lite to help things run with less fluctuation.
Also have an auto-top-off that needs to be added into things
I will post "after" pictures of my cord and equipment organization later, but here is some of the mess It looks a little worse than it is because I have been moving things around.
The top-off water tub........it will be hidden behind the tank after I install a shelf.
Since the antenna gobies went MIA, I decided on a pair of bangaii cardinals. After a quarantine, they were added into the tank and are doing fine. I think the current might be a little more than they like, as they hang out in the low-flow areas until I turn off the powerhead. May have to adjust that so they're out in the open more.
The photogenic orange skunk clowns Female is the one on top, male below.
A few shots of the coral. Will frag up the large green toadstool, as it would take up more of my livestock budget than I want Not the best pictures, but you get the idea.
Some neon green sinularia, the violet dream macro algae frag.....
A full tank shot. I still have some more coral to add that I fragged and is attaching to rubble in the 75g tank.
Two of the 5 macros I added didn't survive priority shipping, of course they were the prettiest ones, the dragons breath and the blue ochtode :/ The codium, violet dream and red grape seem to be doing fine though. The seller is going to replace the ones that died with something else, we'll see what I get and what I want to add to this tank.
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