29 Gallon Reef
Hello all. This is my first crack at a reef tank. I have owned freshwater tanks for years and the allure of having a reef has always been one of my passions.
So with that lets get started.
I bought a tank off of craigslist, real cheap, about 50$ 29 gallon tank and black stand. It came with some decorations and what not. I threw all that out.
The silicone looked OK but for the most part it was withered away and just made me feel uncomfortable. After doing some research it seemed fairly easy to re-silicone the tank myself. 2 hours later and 5$ worth of silicone, good as new!
I cleaned the tank and began my hunt for pieces of equipment to keep my fish and other creatures I planned on keeping happy.
I bought a Hydor Koralia evo 600 pump. I salvaged the HOB filter and I will run purigen in one chamber and maybe a HOB refugium for pods and what not somewhere down the road. In any case it gives me flow until I muster up the funds to buy another pump.
The sand was next. Black live sand. I love the contrast it gives and always have. I did not clean the sand just dropped it in. The dry rock I got from my LFS for about 2 dollars a pound. It is a nice porous rock. There is around 35-40 lbs of it. I got 1 small piece of live rock to seed the tank. I got most of my products from drs Foster And Smith.
I do not work for them or anything like that, they just have great products at amazing prices.
The heater is from them also.
I started the tank around 4 months ago just never got around to making a journal. I left it with no lights while it cycled with the piece of live rock so I didn't get any algae at all.
I added one fish( Domino Damsel) He eats dry brine shrimp infused with spirulina algae. I love seeing him swim around the Rock Work.
My first water change didn't come until yesterday. I know I know, before I get the you need a skimmer and PWC every month I understand. It gives me anxiety with saltwater being new for me and all to change something that has been working for 4 months. But I took it slow and the water change went extremely well. I should have took a nice new pic and will today when I get home. But the tank looks amazing. The algae is growing nice.
I'm leaving the lights for last because I got them not too long ago. The bulbs are from foster and smith, 2 10k coralife bulbs, and 2 actinic bulbs, for a total of 96 watts. I plan on doing soft coral nothing too serious. Hopefully and anemone because I like the look and how it flows in the water. I will do more research before that. I don't dive into anything before I research. haha get it "Dive In" But sometimes that what you have to do. Otherwise I would have never started the tank if i didn't just go ahead and start.
I will get on a PWC schedule and change about 10-15% tank water every few weeks.
The current stock includes 1 Domino Damsel, 3 peppermint shrimp.
I will be slowly recruiting a clean up crew. And yes I know the damsel will have to go. He has been in the tank from the beginning and I can't imagine he will be too happy with new tank mates.
With the tank being so small I do not believe I will get a skimmer, I know the benefits but not overfeeding, low stock, and a good pwc schedule will hopefully be the keys to success. I run the lights for about 12 hours a day also, any suggestions on that too would help.
The pictures attached are of the tanks in the way beginning.
Then of it up and running with lights.
And the last picture will be from about 2 days ago with algae and all.
Almost forgot I have my own RO, I mix my own salt, I still have not acquired a test kit but I will soon.
The salt I use is instant ocean. I need to switch to reef crystals, If anyone can recommend how to do that safely it will be much appreciated.
If I had to throw out a price for everything before live stock for any new comers to reefs, I went the extremely cheap way, I made my own hood for the lights and cut corners where ever I could.
Everything cost me about,
Dry Rock(Biggest Expense)=100$
Pump(Still need at least one more)=25$
Lights=35$ for the bulbs, 40$ for the hood and housing.
Digital timer= 14$
Salt=14$ for 50 gallon bag mix.
RO/DI= 85$ brand new from ebay. 100 GPD works great.
Total= 403. And if you ask any reefer with experience that is cheap.