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genocidex
08-04-2014, 01:21 AM
so here it is after a long and long day, yes i said long twice it was that long....

heres how the day played out, 7AM up and out by 730, trip to mother's appt to make sure everything was semi all set. ran into a problem, the tank we were suposed to use for SW was super dirty... looked like cat pee on the inside. dont think it was but it looked like it anyways. solution was use the tank we were planning on using for fresh water... so no problem good wipe out and it was all set. out of that house by 830 to head up the highway for a 2 hour trip. we got there and wouldnt you know it all our gps's died. asked a chicken for some directions, and then called the person from CL. found his house by 1030 and started the long task of tearing down his tanks. we picked threw everything and he showed me just about everything. really great guy i can say that enough. his live rock is in impeccable shape, he even kept a maintainence log for all his tanks. he did in both 30g tanks a 8g weekly water change with ro di water and salts. he measured and recorded every single parameter for it looked like years! we loaded everything up, and we were out by noon. trip home was about an hour and half since the traffic was less. we got home and drilled some holed in the stand to think forward to the sump system that we got with everything.

heres what i got: (yes pictures too!!!)

sump, with build in skimmer:
35705

RODI unit (got it for 150 worth 250-300 and its still brand new!)
35707

cpr bak pac 2 hob skimmer:
(forgot to take a shot when it wasnt on the back but)
35708

loads of live rock: (he said about 80# but i have no way to judge it myself):
35709
35710

that cooler was FULL of live rock, big pieces

genocidex
08-04-2014, 01:45 AM
out of order but this is our truck loaded up
35711

35712
thats the hob overflow and hydor 4 pump (i think it was 1100 gph)


chemicals chemicals and test kits galore!
35713

other things i didnt take pictures of:
a power head with unknown flow rate (didnt think to look)
a mostly full 5g bucket of salts from red sea
a refractometer
all sorts of test equipment extras and clearing stuff
crud load of advice that was almost eco'd back to me from what was said here
the live sand that had some cleaning crew that i didnt want to just cull.

i took his advice and i think im going to do a short cycle without curing the rock. i know the dangers with this bad algae growth hitchicked i didnt know about. i washed the sand with alot of water (salt water) mixed it good and all the cloud looked like it was from just the sand. and all the rocks looks really good. with all his parameters infront of me at the time i didnt see anything over 5ppm phosphates and i forget the highest nitrates but nothing stood out right. he kept his salinity at 1.025 and ph was i think 8.3 all the time. i didnt pay attention the the other tests much as i had no idea what to look for with that.

on the live rock he pointed out some sponges that were growing and good hitchikers that were with it all.

so any ways ill keep my questions for the last post in this.

now comes a BIG problem. the RO unit had no faucet adapter for it at all... nothing, checked the manufaturer's website and they dont include them so no RO water from that for a bit (it WILL be running before we get any fish i can assure you). one thing i liked when i was talking to the person was he asked how i was going to fill the tank. as soon as i said tap water he stopped me and explained the reasons that tap water would be a bad thing. (tested our tap anyways and the phosphates are around 1.5ppm and there was ammonia in the tap due to a storm. so it would have been a no go from that point) we ended up heading down to a LFS last minute before he closed and grabbed 45g of RODI water with the salt premixed... wow how expensive was that.... well we had no buckets either... so we hit homedepot for 9 5g buckets with lids and filled them to the tune of 100$ !!!!!!! i almost had a stroke. we could have did just plain ro water and mixed our own but i was too tired to argue against it.

heres the tower of bucket when we were done (thats only most of them... we had all the non homedepot stuff with old water and crud in it)
35714

genocidex
08-04-2014, 02:01 AM
so we set up the tank with the rock work the way it looked good and then filled in the bare spots with the cleaned live sand to have a great look for now like this:
35715

that light is just a t12 full spectrum to take the picture. and to possibly just keep the coraline algae alive until we test everything good and get fish and the t5no light fixture.


now for the questions:
there were some clean up crew, about 5 snails and 3 hermits in the tank. im watching the water parameters closely to make sure they arent dieing and stinking up the water. should we be feeding these anything or would they all just graze on the algae in there?

since we decided not to recure the rock, should we be adding any ammonia to keep the bb alive?

i would still like to recure the rock but the actual owner of the tank dosnt want that good algae to die off. would this cause any problems that im not aware of? i will definatly be checking those parameters on a daily basis to see if anything bad is leaching into the water.

think it looks good? i set up 3 bigish caves the fish can get in and out of super easy, and loads of hidey holes they can work into easily. so im hoping it is a good set up to reduce stress and give the fishy friends a great home. as the CL person said (and i love that he said this) "its easy to just get the fish to survive in the aquarium, but thats complete C$%^ if you ask me. your goal as an aquarist is to make your fish THRIVE in your home." that was one of the many snippets of advice that made me realize this guy took VERY good care of his thanks and the fish inside. the wife and childern were all in it together too...

cant wait to get this going even better....
shopping list now:
blue crud for the HOB skimmer (its shooting out bubbles badly.) also need to set it even better than it is now.
return pump for the sump
decent lighting that will hold on till next spring (then uping to t5ho then finaly to DIY leds)
faucet adapter for the RODI unit
hydor 4 pump
and i think that is on the list atm.... unless im missing something.....

defiantly a different creature than freshwater.

Cliff
08-04-2014, 02:27 AM
Excellent. Welcome to a different and fun learning experience !!!

Your BB will be fine for a few weeks, no need to worry about that

I would suggest adding a little seaweed to a small pc of rock for the crabs and snails to eat after a few days. If you recure your rock or not, can be a personal choice sometimes. However, if his phosphates were really at 5ppm, you rock will be leaching out phosphates for a while if not re-cured. Once you add higher level lighting with your T5HO, you'll get a algae farm. Also, as natural sea water in/around the coral reefs where all the fish we keep come from, the water has between 0.1 and 0.003ppm phosphates, this could have other long term negative effects

You can also get the tap adapter for a RO unit on-line form places like Marine Depot. I can post a few links to some if you would need. That is a really good quality RO unit you got as well.


asked a chicken for some directions, and then called the person from CL.

What ????

genocidex
08-04-2014, 02:34 AM
i was actually just looking at the scale again and im thinking his writting was .5ppm and again this was the MAX i saw.... but we will be seeing if its leaching out into my tank lol. i have cheeto (sp?) from him if that would be something i can throw in for the cuc i have in there allready?

basically his tanks looked fanominal and he was gorwing and making thrive some (i cant verifie this) of the hardest to keep sps (i think) corals.... again i wasnt planning on doing any corals but we might be thinking of doing some basic softs eventually.... nothing more than 3 or so.

would t5no be able to suport some of the easier corals if we decided to get them later (i think im going to pick threw the stocking and stock reef safe just incase we decide to get the corals).... its a slippery slope we are on... soon we'd have a 200g all reef tank with super high tech bs in it... i can just see that in a few years .... mark my works XD....


OH i forgot to add what we are planning with that sump. i think im taking out the exsisting live rock in there (its going to be deader than dead when we get the sump on i bet) with the cheeto (sp?) stuff to suck up any extra nutrients

Cliff
08-04-2014, 02:40 AM
0.5ppm of phosphate is no big deal.

You can grow some of the easier corals (like zoas palys and mushrooms) with T5NO, you will just have to place them higher on the rocks to get more of the light they need.

Now what about the directions form the chicken ? :hmm3grin2orange:

genocidex
08-04-2014, 02:43 AM
well he wasnt too much help because he was rambling on about the cow stealing the dog food alot and the cats drinking from the farmer's coffee too... i think the chicken had a screw loose or something... just about every other word was cluck....

so would chaeto (i found the right spelling XD) be a good food of the crabs in there now or should i get the seaweed?

Cliff
08-04-2014, 02:46 AM
Give it a try, you got nothing to loose.

I know a lot of fish will eat it, but I have never tried feeding it to snails or crabs.

genocidex
08-04-2014, 04:12 AM
As for the return pump from sump to tank im thinking of this: http://www.petsolutions.com/C/Pumps-For-Pond-Waterfalls-Filters/I/Pondmaster-Mag-Drive-Pumps.aspx
Suposed to be the same as the supreme mag-drive with a longer cord... for the price idt I can beat it. I should be getting 800-700 gph with the head space I have... im guessing closer to 750. Because its about 4' return. The hod overflow is 2" so It should handle that without a problem. That would bring the total flow In the tank to 3200gph+- w/o the skimmer think thats enough? I still need to look at the skimmers rated lol.

Cliff
08-04-2014, 04:22 AM
That pump should work OK and should give you about 500 gph of flow through the tank (loss of 100gph of each foot of hight and 100 for a few fittings). That would be pretty good for a 55 gallon tank. Add a few power heads for directional water movement throughout the tank and you should be set

genocidex
08-04-2014, 04:21 PM
so besides suporting the good algae what role does lighting have in a sw tank? besides making things look good?

would a single t12 hold the algae thats there now for a week or 2? the light i was placed for an order came back as back ordered. said it might ship in 2 weeks.

Cliff
08-04-2014, 04:27 PM
It's not any different as in freshwater, the lighting is only needed to support growth of the things that need light, algae, corals, and anemones (instead of plants). Your fish and BB will be uneffected.

I would try your T12 light. It should sustain your algae, but you may not see much growth. If that doesn't provide enough light, you can always add a spare FW light if you have one sitting around. The lower color temps that are typical of a fresh water light will really help marine algae grow.

genocidex
08-04-2014, 04:38 PM
we do have another t12 if that would help for the time being. i dont see a big problem with putting that on. ill be teaching how to test everything tomorrow. we were all too tired to go over it yesterday. plus i figured after a full day of setting up the measurements would actually mean something lol. thanks again for all this help

genocidex
08-04-2014, 11:53 PM
so im making a check list for the weekly water change and i want to make sure im not messing anything up.
1.) Prep a food safe bin that’s big enough for at least 25% of your total volume (20 gallons in my case)
2.) Fill with RO/DI water
3.) Top off any evaporation from the tank with pure rodi water(this will show in the sump mostly)
4.) Add the salts sparingly recording measurements to make future water changes easier. (i know there is instructions on the bucket, can i really trust those or should i use it as a jumping off point?)
5.) Mix salts until dissolved in the water. Allow to sit for a few minutes while stirring
6.) Measure the new mixture’s specific gravity with refractometer.
7.) Measure the ph as well
8.) If water in the bin is colder than 10 degrees than tank water, add heater and pump to warm. (i figured 10 degree difference will only raise/lower the tank water by at best 2 degrees. in fw thats not an issue is it an issue in salt?)
9.) When levels are good and match tank water continue on.
10.) Empty about 20% of water from the tank, but no more than the amount of water you have made.
11.) Fill tank with new water
12.) clean up and monitor the tank for a while.

i was planning on only doing 10% but i was told that was a bare minimum and 20 would be best. unless there's a down side to doing more then id rather over change than under.

Cliff
08-05-2014, 12:22 AM
so im making a check list for the weekly water change and i want to make sure im not messing anything up.
3.) Top off any evaporation from the tank with pure rodi water(this will show in the sump mostly)
Yes, the evaporation will lower the water level in the last compartment of your sump and no place else

4.) Add the salts sparingly recording measurements to make future water changes easier. (i know there is instructions on the bucket, can i really trust those or should i use it as a jumping off point?)

Read the label. If it suggests to RO, or stated their measurements are based in using RO water, then use them as a jumping off point. Typically a good quality salt will give you are 1.024 to 1.026 when mixed 1 ¼ cups of salt in 5 gallons of pure RO water. Start there and test with your refactor meter just to make sure

5.) Mix salts until dissolved in the water. Allow to sit for a few minutes while stirring
. I would not let the water just sit without having a powerhead in there to keep the water moving

6.) Measure the new mixture’s specific gravity with refractometer.
Don't forget to calibrate your refortormeter

8.) If water in the bin is colder than 10 degrees than tank water, add heater and pump to warm. (i figured 10 degree difference will only raise/lower the tank water by at best 2 degrees. in fw thats not an issue is it an issue in salt?)
I always match the temp of the tank water to my water change water. A big difference in the temp is not good. It can also effect your alkalinity levels.

10.) Empty about 20% of water from the tank, but no more than the amount of water you have made.
You can start off with 10% weekly and see how it goes. In a properly stocked and maintained reef or FOWLR tank, you may often be able to have great water parameters with only a 10% water change. Let your test results as your guide for that.

i was planning on only doing 10% but i was told that was a bare minimum and 20 would be best. unless there's a down side to doing more then id rather over change than under.

There's no down side other than cost. More is always better provided you maintain your parameters within the tank the same as your brand of salt




I put a few suggestions above in red

genocidex
08-05-2014, 08:51 PM
so today we finished ordering everything we need for the tank. the refractometer we got was un-calibrateable the screw was rusted, and im sure the inner working of it was rusted as well... so we bought a new one with good reviews on marine depot. all the test kit was well past expiration so we are buying a new set. at the least we are getting api master kit and a phosphate. still cant find that blue stuff for the hob skimmer... do we need it? can i just add a course sponge instead?

Cliff
08-05-2014, 09:04 PM
Good call on getting a new refactormeter. They can become out of adjustment some times and need to be checked / adjusted every once in a while.

API marine test kits are OK for the ammonia and nitrites tests, but are not so accurate with pH, nitrates, phosphates, calcium and/or alkalinity (at least IME). For those tests, I would suggest looking into Salifert test kits. IME, Salifert is among the better test kits out there.

gronlaura
08-05-2014, 10:26 PM
Great haul!!!

That is the RO/DI unit I have - excellent unit. If you have only one RO membrane (the white tube on the top, 90 GPD) and need to make your water faster, you can add another RO membrane with a piggyback kit to make 180 GPD) -

http://spectrapure.com/AQUARIUM/MEMBRANES-FLOW-RESTRICTORS/Piggy-Back-Memb-Kits

Compass
08-06-2014, 01:20 AM
Great haul!!!

That is the RO/DI unit I have - excellent unit. If you have only one RO membrane (the white tube on the top, 90 GPD) and need to make your water faster, you can add another RO membrane with a piggyback kit to make 180 GPD) -

http://spectrapure.com/AQUARIUM/MEMBRANES-FLOW-RESTRICTORS/Piggy-Back-Memb-Kits

You need to do a saltie. I think you'd be a natural.

genocidex
08-06-2014, 02:36 AM
For the moment I think 90/day is just fine. We just need 20g/week. At most.

genocidex
08-06-2014, 04:18 PM
So question... If we had a 75g we could do a snowflake eel and something else thats different? Puffer maybe?

Compass
08-06-2014, 04:20 PM
Oh I like puffers. If you can, you should totally do it!

genocidex
08-06-2014, 04:27 PM
I think i just talked him and myself.out of a 75g deal on cl... I think we have our hands full atm with this 55g... Also funds are running low so id rather do this tank well than 2 tanks just ok...

Compass
08-06-2014, 04:29 PM
OR fire up the 75 and use the 55 as the sump! BOOM! Problem solved.

genocidex
08-06-2014, 05:11 PM
well funny story about our trip home. we were messing with my mother saying some on threw out 200g tank and we picked it up on the way home. she was livid! mad as could be.... but that night she was looking at the set up we have and said "i wish you did get that 200g tank after all...." she would have been fine with it! lol

Cliff
08-06-2014, 06:25 PM
So question... If we had a 75g we could do a snowflake eel and something else thats different? Puffer maybe?

Yes you certainly could with some of smaller puffers like blue spotted puffers or some of the other spotted and/or saddle puffers. Just keep in mind, puffers do have a little different requirements as compared to most other fish.

genocidex
08-06-2014, 07:53 PM
i know of their food requirement and need to look out for their beaks and stuff. besides that i would assume lower flow in the tank because they arent so great swimmers and they are really messy eater right?

any ways as i said i think it would be a no go till we get alot more experience with this begginer set up we have here

gronlaura
08-06-2014, 08:27 PM
For the moment I think 90/day is just fine. We just need 20g/week. At most.

The GPD rate is based on 77 deg water at 60 psi. Your water temp and tap psi will determine how fast the water is made. I added the piggyback kit to my 90 GPD unit and it now takes me about 3-1/2 -4 hrs to make 30 gallons (used to take 6 hrs).

I use two 32 gal heavy duty garbage cans for water storage (I need 2 now that I have 3 tanks) and added a float valve to each. Does your unit have an RO membrane flush valve? If you're not sure, post a photo from the top, looking down on the unit from above.

gronlaura
08-06-2014, 08:28 PM
You need to do a saltie. I think you'd be a natural.

Fortunately (or unfortunately) , I have room for only my future river tank.

genocidex
08-06-2014, 10:10 PM
I dont think it dose ill post a picture when I have a chance

gronlaura
08-06-2014, 10:38 PM
Your RO membrane will last a lot longer if you flush it before and after making your water. I have the manual flush kit on mine - all you do is turn a valve.

Any questions, you can call SpectraPure ( 1-800-685-2783) and talk to their tech person (Scott, I think). Very knowledgeable and helpful. I purchased my flush kit and he helped me install it (over the phone).

genocidex
08-11-2014, 11:57 PM
well tomorrow is the day for the rest of the equipment to come in. we also bought a few more pumps similar to hydor (but not) to get water moving around a bit better.

yesterday i tested the water again after an entire week running and i had nearly zeros across the board. i think nitrates were around 5 and everything else was non existant. we couldnt afford those expensive test kits so we had to go with api. we do have expired expensive kits tho. and i tested with everything.

i think once we get this sump running we will be ready for the first fish or 2 to join the party XD.... i was thinking the clown pair first so they can get to know the tank before the other fish join in...

genocidex
08-24-2014, 03:14 AM
so today we got 2 wonderful looking clowns. just an update lol.

Cliff
08-24-2014, 03:28 AM
What...... No pics ........ ???

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