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Cliff
09-04-2010, 09:17 PM
Iím starting my reef tank journal early in the process of setting up my first reef tank

Iím going to start off with a FOWLR set-up stocking reef friendly fish. Once I have learned from that, and the tank seems established, I will slowly add corals from there. Hereís what I have so far for equipment

http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fishpictures/data/1029/thumbs/90_gallon_SW.jpg (http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fishpictures/showphoto.php?photo=19063)

90 gallon tank, drilled for a sump lines with a built in over box
30 gallon sump (I traded off the 40 I originally had)
Red Sea Berlin X2 protein skimmer ( I will have to up-grade when adding corals)
Aquaglobe Model AQ600 wet/dry pump
Double T5 light future with 108 watts and 10000K of light
Nova RO/DI system (still waiting for a few parts to come in that I ordered for it).

Equipment I have left to get:
3 power heads. Still trying to figure out which ones would be best for the coral that I like
Proper lighting for coral, Iím going for really good quality lighting so I will have a lot of options for picking coral.
Dry and Live sand, about 2" on the bottom
Dry and live rock, about 100lbs in total

Initial stocking list:
Two clown fish
Two Fox Face
Three or four blennies
One Yellow Tang (still need to confirm I could keep him in my 90)

My next steps are to build a stand for this set-up and re-silicone the 90 gallon tank. Once that is done, Iíll clean-up every, out it together to check for leaks, and make sure everything works as it should

sheamurai
09-05-2010, 01:52 AM
On your way! Good luck and enjoy the ride, lol.

Cliff
10-05-2010, 11:15 PM
So hereís my latest up-date for my 90 gallon SW set-up

Not much to look at yet as it is still a work in progress.

I know it doesnít look it, but I have actually put a lot of work into the set-up so far. As the silicone in the tank looked like it was starting to lift in a few spots, I removed all of the outer seal and replaced the silicon. Better safe than sorry.

Iíve also built a stand for this set-up. I spent quite a lot of time looking at stand designs. I made a removable panel on one end of the stand so I can remove the sump when/if needed. The back and front are close enough to being exactly the same, so if we move and I need the panel on the other side, all I have to do is move the doors to the other side. I have enough room inside the stand to up-grade to a 55 gallon sump, should I feel the need for a bigger sump in the future (who am I kidding, I mean when I up-grade the sump). I also made the stand as high as I felt practical to allow for a bigger skimmer and a light should I need them in the future. My wife and I could not decide on wither we wanted to finish the stand with a medium brown stain (like the rest of our furniture) or paint it black. I ended up using a black stain instead. Itís hard to tell from the photos, but it looks like black paint and you can still see almost all of the grain in the wood. I still have a little work left to complete on the stand. I need to sand it a little, give it another coat of urethane, and put the doors on it. I also need a little trim work on the top around the tank to give it a more finished look. We really like the look of it in the room. The black makes it stand out and it looks good.

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/90SW_steup_1.jpg

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/90SW_setup_2.jpg

I set-up the sump and water tested everything last night. Every worked as it should. The only thing I have to fix is the drain line into the sump. Thereís a small leak somewhere. I think I might have forgotten the Teflon tape on the bulk head fitting. Iíll just have to take it apart and reseal all of the threads. Once I got that fixed, I will run water through the system for about a week or two to make sure there are no leaks in the tank or sump. Just want a pc of mind as I bought them used (approx 10 years old).

When I tested the return pump, everything worked great. The level inside the sump stays at somewhere between 8 and 9Ē in the skimmer compartment, and around 6Ē in the rest. I even unplugged the pump to see what would happen when the power goes out. The water in the tank drained to just below the return line in the tank and the sump filled up to the top. No water on the floor. I plugged it back in and the water levels returned to the past levels. Iíll just have to make sure I donít have any rock or corals that could be higher than the return line. I wonít need a one way valve on the return line either which is good as that can restrict the flow. I made sure I had left some room to the right of the sump for a external pump. That side of the sump is drilled so I would like to up-grade my return pump at some point to use a external pump increasing the available space in the sump if I decide not to get a bigger sump. Right now the flow is somewhere between 1200 and 1400 gph based on last nightís test. I canít really go much higher than 1400 gph with a 1.5Ē drain line unless I increase it to a 2Ē drain line or adding a second drain line.

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/90SW_setup_3.jpg

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/90SW_setup_4.jpg

As I donít like the look of equipment in my tanks, I covered the return line in the tank with dry rock. It looks less unnatural now. I also took a pc of clear plastic cut the same size as the internal overflow box and siliconed rock to it. I will attach this rock covered plastic to the overflow box when Iím ready to cycle the tank. I did not want to attach the rock directly to the overflow box itself in case I donít like it or want to change it latter.



This weekend Iíll be setting up my RO unit and making a few DIY caves to stack my rock on when I get enough $$$ together for it.



The only things I have left to get is: the rock, sand, two more power heads, and a phosphate reactor, and then Iím ready for fish. It will be a FOWLR tank for a while until I can afford to turn it into a reef tank. I will be up-grading my lighting and skimmer before I will add any corals. Iím also going to make a canopy for this set-up when the weather is better as I will have to complete this work in my un-heated garage.

sheamurai
10-05-2010, 11:49 PM
looking good so far!
A lot of forethought going into this, very impressive!

Cliff
10-11-2010, 02:35 PM
Not too much of a up-date this time

I finally got around to setting up my RO unit this past week. I got a 4 stage unit with 75 gallon per day capacity and a 4 gallon storage tank. I tried mounting it under the sink, but it would not fit. I wanted the unit to be in the basement. I was the one that made the cabinets in the basement and when I did, I wasnít thinking about a RO unit. So I just set-up everything on the counter. That should be for the best. My employer still wants to transfer me out of Saskatoon so Iíll play it safe for a while just in case I get an offer I canít say no to.

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/ROunit.jpg

I got a second holding tank for it to increase the holding capacity of the RO water to just under 10 gallons. That way we will always have water available for our own use even when I would need to complete a water change on the tank. I just need to get a ďTĒ fitting to connect both tanks (I accidently bought the wrong size fitting). Iím going to try to take care of that today. Those fittings are hard to find.

labnjab
10-11-2010, 03:24 PM
Looks like your off top a great start. I would have thought the return would be in the overflow to keep it hidden, thats how our is. I like the rocks covering the return. Once its all covered in coraline you won't be able to tell its there


You'd be amazed at the amount of water you will go through in a week between top offs and water changes. You'll probably find those storage tanks won't be enough without you having to fill them daily. I use roughly 2-3 gallons a day top off plus 10 gallons a week for water changes. I personally use large rubbermaid totes for water storage. I have a 25 gallon used for mixing saltwater and a 18 gallon for ro/di. I have a float valve rigged up in the ro/di tote so I can fill it and not worry about overfilling it. Both totes are in the fish room and ro/di unit is in the kitchen. I just ran about 30 feet of the ro/di tubing along the ceiling from the kitchen to the fish room. Then I just turn it on and forget it.

Cliff
10-11-2010, 03:38 PM
Excellent point labnjab, I didn't factor in the top-up water.

I'm going to look into your suggestions

Thank-you

Cliff
10-11-2010, 10:46 PM
This past Thursday or Friday (caní remember which day), I found and fixed the leek in the drain line. When I re-installed the fitting to the bulk-head flange, I over-tighten the fitting and broke the seal inside the tank. So a friend of mine gave me a hand taking the tank off the stand so I could take off the bulk flange off, and reseal it before re-installing it. Today, I filled it back up with tap water, started the return pump, and no leaks. I was going to let the silicone cure longer, but it had a little more than 72 hours and a friend of mine stopped by so we both figured we would just try it. Iíll let it run for about a week just to make sure everything is water tight. It will be some time before I can buy all of the rock that I will need to cycle a 100 gallon system so I thought a long test period will help with my patients.

Cliff
10-18-2010, 11:34 PM
It may not look like much progress, but thereís been a lot of work done this past week and some.

First off, I put the doors on the stand. I still have a little trim work to do, but not a lot of work left.

I siliconed the dry rock panels to the overflow

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/90withdryrock2.jpg

I got my dry rock for the tank so I could stack it in there and see how it looks. I also filled it up with tap water to test the flow around the rock and adjust the power heads from there. It looks like Iíll need another few power heads.

After stacking the rock in place I may some PVC frames for the rock to sit on (and so it wonít fall over) and use some silicone to hold them in place. But of course, that was after stacking them and restacking them at the store, then stacking them and restacking them in the tank. The rocks sit really flat on each other so I only need to hold them on place. I then used some rock epoxy putty to help make sure they do not move.

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/DYIRockstandStepone.jpg

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/DIYRockstandStep2.jpg

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/DIYRockstandStep3.jpg

I now have 80 lbs of dry rock in the tank. When I get my live rock to cycle the tank, I will stack it in front of the current rock to give it a more natural look. Iíll likely be getting about 30 to 40 lbs of live rock to cycle the tank. With any luck Iíll have the cash for that just after X-mass.

promise
10-19-2010, 12:28 AM
Looking good and coming along nicely.
you going to be out this way soon then if your made an offer you cant refuse :hmm3grin2orange:

hockeyhead019
10-19-2010, 01:17 AM
Awesome tank! I'm most likely going to keep up with your build thread and lag behind on a slightly smaller scale, fantastic idea with the pvc and attaching the rock to that. One question though, what did you use to secure the pvc together (or is it just dry fitted?)

-Jim

Cliff
10-19-2010, 01:24 AM
promise, You'll be the first to know lol :hmm3grin2orange:

hockeyhead019, I used a very small amount of silicone to hold the fittings togther. Likely I didn't need it because the fit really tightly together

hockeyhead019
10-19-2010, 02:19 AM
gotcha ok, looks fantastic! Keep updating with pics

Lab_Rat
10-19-2010, 03:46 AM
Looks good so far!

Cliff
10-20-2010, 09:19 PM
Got my salt and a refractometer today. Went with a little higher quality of salt the is recommended for reef tanks. It wasnít the most expensive stuff in the store, but it was the second most expensive. Same with the refractometer (have no idea if Iím spelling it correctly), went a little higher quality but not the best out there. Now Iím ready for live rock and cycling (and some cash to pay for it all).

Fortunately for me, I can take the time to run water though it for a week, or many, until I have the $$$ for the live rock. Iíve been doing a lot of research on cycling with live rock and Iíve found a lot of good info. One thing that I did learn is that if you are planning to cycle your tank with 80% dry rock and 20% live rock, you should soak the dry rock for a few weeks to leach out any phosphates and/or nitrates out of the dry rock. After I thought about that for a while, it now makes sense to me. As dry rock was once live, it could still have organic residue on it that would lead to some nitrates and phosphates. Granted the dry rock has been cleaned before I bought it, but when your goal is 0 nitrates and 0 phosphates, why risk it. Iím going to set it up for a while (with fresh water) just to make sure if there is anything that could leech out of the rock, it will be out before I add everything to cycle the tank.

I also read some info that suggests adding the sub straight after the tank is cycled. That way you can complete a partial water change (20% or less) and vac up the stuff that will fall off the live rock and decompose resulting in more nitrates in the water. I guess that makes sense provided you donít use live sand that might end up adding some more ammonia into the water

My wife is going to think Iím NUTS. This will be the fourth or fifth time that I have filled this tank with water and I haven't even started cycling it yet.

It will give me a chance to play around with the power heads some more and hopefully add a few more in the next couple of days to get rid of all of the dead spots

So far, hereís my thoughts on the clean-up crew:
3 or 4 - cleaner shrimp
4 or 5 - emerald crabs
Lots Ė snails
Iím still not too sure of what snails to get. I want to get some small ones (to get into the little corners and spots like that) and some larger more active ones that will clean a lot.

I'm open to suggestions on the clean-up crew is anyone has any ?

labnjab
10-20-2010, 09:46 PM
You CUC need will change as the tank matures. You'll want good algae eaters to start. Here's some good algae eating snails, mexican turbo, cerith, regular turbo, and astrea snails. After the tank matures a little you'll want leftover food eaters and the nassuris snails are awesome at that, plus they sift the sand too. I need to add more to my cuc soon and will probably add another dozen nassuris

hockeyhead019
10-20-2010, 10:25 PM
Cliff I have the feeling my family is gonna be looking at me like I have three heads when I keep filling the tank full of water and then emptying, fill and empty lol

On a side note, are you sure you should run with freshwater? Wouldn't it be easier to just fill with saltwater and start letting anything dead fall off the "dead" rock and just do a water change every so often to keep the quality up... idk just a thought so you didn't have to completely empty the tank in order to add salt and the live rock to begin cycling

kaybee
10-20-2010, 10:53 PM
....So far, hereís my thoughts on the clean-up crew:
3 or 4 - cleaner shrimp
4 or 5 - emerald crabs
Lots Ė snails
Iím still not too sure of what snails to get. I want to get some small ones (to get into the little corners and spots like that) and some larger more active ones that will clean a lot.

I'm open to suggestions on the clean-up crew is anyone has any ?

I'm not sure if I'd consider cleaner shrimps to be CUC as most other CUC are (they're named 'cleaners' because they assist in ridding fish of external parasites and dead skin/scales, etc rather than cleaning the tank). With that said, most crustaceans in the hobby are opportunistic scavengers.

4-5 emerald crabs may be too many, you could go with one or two. They primarily seek out (non-film) algae (hair, bubble, wire, etc). Hermit crabs, on the other hand are a good selection in terms of consuming leftovers and processing detriturs. You could start off with 10-15.

I find a single turbo snail to be equivalent to several astrea's. Plus they're more capable of 'righting' themselves if they fall off the glass or rocks. Due to the shape of their shells, astrea's are generally doomed if left unassisted in a tank when they fall (will foul the tank a little before the CUC take care of the remains).

As the tank mature's your CUC can be modified and/or downsized (the CUC in my 65gal reef is currently comprised of a single turbo snail, two nassarius snails, and a maroon serpent star).

Cliff
10-20-2010, 11:55 PM
Thanks for the replays everyone

The CUC make a lot more sense now. I think I'll just start off with a few turbo snails and add a crab or two after a bit of time.

Cliff
10-21-2010, 01:33 AM
On a side note, are you sure you should run with freshwater? Wouldn't it be easier to just fill with saltwater and start letting anything dead fall off the "dead" rock and just do a water change every so often to keep the quality up... idk just a thought so you didn't have to completely empty the tank in order to add salt and the live rock to begin cycling

Sorry for the delay in my response hockeyhead, I lost my internet service for a while.

The reason why I'm not useing salt water is because I thought it would be easier just to remove all the water to romove the nitrates and phosphates that will leech out of the dry rock. And I don't want to wast any salt. I'm using reef crytals and they are really $$$$$$$$$$$.

kaybee
10-21-2010, 11:04 PM
...The reason why I'm not useing salt water is because I thought it would be easier just to remove all the water to romove the nitrates and phosphates that will leech out of the dry rock. And I don't want to wast any salt...

That' what I did as well. Here's my post describing the levels of phosphate leeched out of dry rock will in RO/DI:

http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aquariumforum/showpost.php?p=701337&postcount=4

Cliff
10-21-2010, 11:57 PM
Kaybee, good to know I'm heading down the right path.

Just filled it with tape water, 0 nitrates and phosphates. I'm going to test every day to see how much leeches out.

I will replacing this water with RO water (100% water change) when I'm ready to add live rock and start the cycle.

Cliff
10-24-2010, 10:51 PM
I picked up a reactor this weekend along with a small utility pump for it. I bought a Vertex UF-15. Good for tank up to 200 gallons depending on the media you use. It has a 4Ē diameter and 15Ē height container to hold the media. I went with this one just in case I ever want to up grade to a larger tank I wonít have to get a bigger reactor. I didnít like the fittings that came with the unit so I used some of my own for a little different set-up. I set it up and tested it today, everything seams to work fine, no leaks

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/fittings.jpg

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/Reactor.jpg

I know it may look a little different, but |I want it at the end of my tank with the line running near the edges of the sump for easy removal when I need to add or replace media in the reactor

Iím planning on using biobeeds to help control phosphates. It seems to be a more natural way as compared to other purely chemical based media.

When I was at the SW LFS, I found out they are getting a shipment of live, uncured, rock. So Iíve decided to get some of that rock when it arrives and start cycling the tank. I wasnít plan to cycle the tank until after X-mass, but I canít let a opportunity to use uncured rock pass me by. From what Iíve been able to research, uncured live rock is better for cycling ( when you are using at least 20% live rock to cycle) as there will be more die off from uncured rock which will lead to a higher BB colony to start with. Iíve been mixing up RO water all day today. Got most of the tank full now. With any luck Iíll be able to post pics next weekend with the live rock in it.

Labnjab, the whole time I was making up RO water I kept thinking to myself, ďI wish I already had a storage tank of ready to go water already set-up like Labnjab suggestedĒ. Iím still going to set one up, just didnít plan on cycling the tank next week so I put it off (blush) .

kaybee
10-24-2010, 11:34 PM
Nice reactor!

Please post your experience with the bio beads as far as phosphate and nitrate reduction.

Cliff
10-25-2010, 12:19 AM
Nice reactor!

Please post your experience with the bio beads as far as phosphate and nitrate reduction.


I will. As this is still really new, I'm dieing to try it and see for myself. I've heard mix feedback from some users in my city. But some poeple expect results within a few days to a week when this product typically takes longer to start working.

I will keep you posted tho

hockeyhead019
10-25-2010, 02:18 PM
Ok help me out... what's the point of the reactor? Just to give BB more area to grow and help your water quality? I mean feel free to correct me if I'm wrong haha

Cliff glad to hear you got a jump start on the cycle, you definitely can't pass up a good chance like that.

Cliff
10-25-2010, 06:25 PM
Hockeyhead:

I'll try to anwere your question the way it was explained to me.

It can be very improtant part of maintaining good water quality. The reactor is a way to hold filter media and force water through it. You attach a pump and a line to the intake, which takes the water into the chamber and down the center tube to the bottom of the reactor so the water is then forced up through the media and out the return line. Itís a effective way to pass water through filter media. I like reactors because you donít have a lot of space taken up in your sump (it sits outside the sump). Typically for a SW set-up, you would put a large grain phosphate remover in it. From what Iíve researched, eliminating phosphates is key to help avoid nasty algae growth in new salt water set-up and keep things that way as the tank establishes itself.

I hope this helps

hockeyhead019
10-25-2010, 06:39 PM
Hmmm I see, but can't you just make a compartment of your sump do the same thing? I had assumed that the sump compartments did most of the cleaning.

Cliff
10-25-2010, 07:17 PM
Hmmm I see, but can't you just make a compartment of your sump do the same thing? I had assumed that the sump compartments did most of the cleaning.

Yes you can do that. I can't do that in my set-up beacuse once I up-grade my skimmer I won't have room to make another compartment in my sump.

I really should up-grade my sump to a 55 gallon tank, but that will have to wait a while for me untill I can get the $$$ to do it and the time to find a used tank.

hockeyhead019
10-25-2010, 07:41 PM
Ok I gotcha... it's kind of funny you want a sump as big as my tank hahaha but that's good it sounds like you've got it all worked out haha I'm excited to see this thing get up and running haha and it's not even my tank! haha

labnjab
10-25-2010, 10:57 PM
Hmmm I see, but can't you just make a compartment of your sump do the same thing? I had assumed that the sump compartments did most of the cleaning.


Not really for phosphate remover (gfo) or carbon. You want pressure for these media to work efficiently and a chamber in the sump won't give you the pressure you need. Thats where the reactor comes into play. It forces water from the bottom up through the media so that the media gently tumbles or "fluidizes".

Cliff
10-26-2010, 12:01 AM
Thanks Lab, I didn't realize that.

Good thing I took some of your advice before :19:

I now better understand why you suggest a reactor in one of my past threads.

Keep that great info come'n thumbs2:

hockeyhead019
10-26-2010, 12:01 AM
Ok I gotcha that makes sense... makes a lot of sense now that I think about it haha

Cliff
10-28-2010, 12:11 AM
Got the tank full and everything is up and running. Salinity is between 1.024 and 1.025 (testing with a Vertex refactormeter), temp 79.5F and 8.2 PH. Iím ready to add the live rock and cycle the tank. Hopefully our SW LFS will have there shipment of new live rock by this weekend so I can start to cycle.

Good thing I wonít be getting the live rock until this weekend. It will likely take me that long to get my skimmer adjusted correctly. Itís a used red-sea Berlin 2 skimmer so itís not going through a break-in period. Itís just a darn touchy skimmer. Just a matter a trial and error now as I'm getting close

hockeyhead019
10-28-2010, 12:20 AM
need... PICS!! haha good to hear the whole system is up and running Cliff congrats

Cliff
10-31-2010, 01:39 AM
No new pics this weekend. Our SW LFS did not get in the live rock they ordered. :scry: Hopefully their vendor will ship it this coming week

This will give me even more time to wash the sand substright I got for the tank.

When trying to figure why, ( after two cleanings followed by a week of running) my used skimmer wasnít working correctly, I noticed it was sucking up bubbles from the tank drain line. I put a filter sock on the drain line and no more bubbles in the sump. Skimmer is working OK(ish) now. That is, OK for a mid to low quality skimmer. Iím still going to up-grade the skimmer soon when I get a chance to research a brand and model to use.

hockeyhead019
10-31-2010, 10:39 PM
Glad to hear you've solved your skimmer issue Cliff, well temporarily at least, a skimmer is one of the things I'm worried about purchasing since it's important but to get a good one is expensive... best of luck finding a middle ground! I'll be watching to see what you can come up with haha

Also sorry to hear no live rock this week :/ o well hopefully it gets in asap

Cliff
10-31-2010, 11:20 PM
You bet Hockeyhead, from what Iíve found your skimmer and lighting are key to a great reef set-up.

As soon as Iím cycled, Iíll be up-grading my skimmer to a Vertex 180. Itís a really good brand, and thereís a LFS here in town that I can get it from.

You can also find a lot of great deals on E-bay or cregslist. Just stick with a good brand name with extra capacity and you will be fine.

hockeyhead019
11-01-2010, 01:22 AM
Yea I was definitely thinking those are the two key ingredients to having a successful tank, that and keeping flow in the tank (less important that the first two but still up there on the list)

so I'm trying to get a solid skimmer and lighting

what type of lighting are you deciding to go with Cliff?

Cliff
11-01-2010, 01:44 AM
I'm going for either a 6 or 8 bulb HO T5 fixture.

Not too sure on the brand yet, still looking into it.

I picked T5 lighting due to lower heat given off and a little less energy used when compaired to MH

You also get a few more option over bulbs.

I am still looking into this this. The first few months, my tank will be a FOWLER tank with reef friendly fish so I will have some time to look into it even more. And, (hopfully) find a good used use fixture too.

Cliff
11-02-2010, 04:04 AM
I wasnít planning on adding my substraight until after Iíve cycled the tank (help prevent algae), but seeing as how Iím going to have to wait at least another week for my live rock, I thought I would add the substraight tonight. I actually started cleaning it last night while handing out treat to the kids. Iím using a finer sand and Iím liking the look of it. After spending hours positioning the powerheads to eliminate all but a few small dead spots, it looks like Iíve created a few spots of strong flow. After putting the sand in the tank, I smoothed it out all flat. After 6 hours, the power heads had gently moved some of it around. Itís kind of cool, almost looks like snow drifts. Now Iím getting some more ideas on how to arrange the live rock when I add it to get the full benefit of the flow. Iíve also added a pic of my sump now that I have everything in place and running.

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/sandinthetank.jpg

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/90gallonreadytocycle.jpg

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/Sumpupandrunning.jpg

I also got a Rubbermaid container for extra slat water. Iíve now got 15 gallons in there and I want to have about 20 just increase the ammonia levels get too high during the cycle and I have to change some water. I likely wonít have to worry about cycling with 2o to 25% live rock, but its better safe then sorry.

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/waterstorage.jpg

hockeyhead019
11-02-2010, 12:55 PM
Nice, I like the natural look of the sand! Can't wait to see some live rock in that sucker and watch it cycle!

Cliff
11-07-2010, 02:42 AM
I was out of town for a few days and returned to find a skimmer totally out of adjustment today. I will take it all apart some time latter on to see if I can fix it. I would be nice to have it kicking around as a back-up or for a second (and much smaller) tank.

I went to our SW LFS today and picked up a Vertex IN 180 skimmer. Got it set-up in the sump tonight. It fits, but it is a tight fit, only a ĹĒ space on either side. I did angle it so the outlet tube is one the other side from the pump. I really need to up-grade to a bigger sump soon. Hopefully I can find a 55 gallon tank I could make into a sump. I figured I didnít want to be breaking in a new skimmer after Iíve finished the cycle so I bought the skimmer along with my live rock today.

Iíll post pics of the tank with the live rock latter this weekend.

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/Sumpstage2.jpg

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/NewSkimmer.jpg

Cliff
11-07-2010, 01:04 PM
Finally, I now feel like I'm making progress. I never thought I would be happy to see ammoina in a test result

I added 26 lbs of live and uncured rock yesterday and a few more pcs of dry rock. That brings me up to a total of approx 120 lbs of rock. After the first day of cycling, the ammonia is now noticeable at .25, 0 nitrites, and between 5 to 10 ppm of nitrate. Once the skimmer is broken in, I am hoping to avoid a big spike in nitrates at the end of the cycle.

Iíll post pics latter today when Iíve had a chance to move around the rock a little more. Still not happy with the layout yet.

sheamurai
11-07-2010, 05:48 PM
Lookin' great, there, Cliff. I'm continually impressed by the amount of pre-planning and work you've done setting this up.
Can't wait to see the end result!

hockeyhead019
11-08-2010, 12:27 AM
Glad to hear you got your rock Cliff! Can't wait to see your scape, I'm itching to get my tank up and going but just haven't found the time to do it yet haha I'm enjoying reading your progress!

Cliff
11-08-2010, 12:39 AM
Thanks guys

I just bought a used 55 gallon tank. I will be cleaning it up and making it into a sump this coming weekend.

I will post pics of the rock and tank latter tonight

Cliff
11-08-2010, 01:20 AM
Iím very happy to see the ammonia jump up to .50 ppm.

Iím amazing how much live stuff is on these formations (live rock) in the ocean. In the below pics you can see the darker coloured rock is the live, uncured rock. After two days of being in the tank, ammonia is .50 ppm. Also, the water got very cloudy over night. Another thing that caught me off guard was the smell. Youíd swear I have a 4 day old dead salmon hidden in the basement. I filled my reactor with carbon to help with the smell. It should pass on its own in a few weeks but I canít wait that long.

I spent a few hour moving the live rock around until I found a look that I like which also allowed for good flow and lots of hidding places for the new live stock (when the tank is ready). But I will likey change it a few more times as I look at it more.

After making many adjustments to the sump, Iíve made up my mind to up grade the sump before adding any livestock. I found a really good deal on a 55 gallon so I bought it today. Going to get some plexiglass sheet and put the baffles in this weekend so I can hopefully have it up and running a few days after.

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/Tankwithrock2.jpg

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/Tankwithrock.jpg

hockeyhead019
11-08-2010, 03:27 PM
Nice pics Cliff! That's some whacky looking rock haha can't wait to watch it bloom and see some picks of any hitchhikers you may have picked up haha

Where'd you get your rock from?

Cliff
11-08-2010, 06:10 PM
Thanks, I'm also waiting to see what I got for hitch hickers.

I got the live rock from our SW LFS here in town. It' a small privately business. I forgot were he said the live rock was harvested from. I'll find out this weekend when I back at home and let you know

hockeyhead019
11-08-2010, 06:20 PM
Ok cool thanks because that's some awesome looking rock!

Cliff
11-11-2010, 04:51 PM
Getting close to the end of the first week of the cycle. The new skimmer seams to be breaking in nicely as its starting to take a lot of crud out of the water and I have yet to adjust anything on it. The water has really cleared up nicely. Tested the water this morning and got the following readings: PH 8.2, ammonia 2, nitrite 0, nitrate, 10. I completed a 25% water change to bring down the ammonia and help keep it just under 2. Looks like the dye off is done now as the ďdead salmonĒ smell is almost all gone now. Iím going to take a water sample in to our SW LFS tomorrow to be tested just to make sure my test kit is giving me accurate readings. I was a little surprised at the ammonia spike up to 2 from 26 lbs of live rock in about 100 gallons (total) of water

Tomorrow Iím going to see if I can get some pcs of glass cut so I can put the new sump together.

sheamurai
11-12-2010, 02:37 AM
yeah, uncured rock really puts out a lot of ammonia.
I used only cured rock and never got a spike at all - waited for weeks thinking I was doing something wrong and held off adding fish - for nothing. ha!

Cliff
11-14-2010, 04:15 PM
I finished up-grading my sump today. I made the new sump out of a used 55 gallon tank I bought. I had glass pcs cut at a local glass shop to use as baffles. I siliconed them in place and let it cure for 36 hours. I also built a little stand for the skimmer to sit on as Iíve made the baffles so the sump will hold the maximum amount of water, a lot more water than the last sump. I replaced my old return pump with a new quite one 6000 and re-did some of the plumbing so I can have the reactor hooked up to the return pump as well.

I did the power fail test a few time with different levels of water in the sump to find the max and min levels in the sump so there will be no spills should the power go out. As only 10 to 12 gallons will drain out from the tank, the new sump can more than handle that amount of water draining back.

I also now have a compartment for live rock and some macro algae. I already have a light fixture for the sump from an old 20 gallon I have. When the tank is done cycling, Iíll move some live rock in the sump.

I now have a total of approximately 125 gallons (90 gallon display tank and 35 gallons in the sump).

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/NewSump1.jpg

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/NewSump2.jpg

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/NewSump3.jpg

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/NewSump4.jpg

hockeyhead019
11-15-2010, 01:04 AM
Looks great Cliff... much less cramped than your last sump lol

Cliff
11-15-2010, 01:19 AM
Thanks Hockeyhead

I just love the look of a brand new tank (or sump in this case) just after you fill it up for the first time.

I'm hoping to work of the rock layout next weekend. Moving some of it to the sump and moving stuff around in the tank.

robnepper
11-15-2010, 03:38 AM
That is both impressive and intense. Great job.

Cliff
11-15-2010, 11:09 PM
Thanks Robnepper

I love these little weekend projects

Cliff
11-21-2010, 12:35 AM
Wow, I should have asked my wife to check the parameters while I was out of town last week. It looks like the cycle is really moving along nicely now

PH 8.0
Ammoina, between 0.5 and 0.25
Nitrite, just over 1.0
Nirate, about 30

I'm a little concerned about the 0.2 drop in the PH so I'll have to read up on that a little.

I'm guessing and hoping the cycle will be done over the next two weeks. I'm thinking the nitrites are on there way done as my nitrates climbed from less than 5 to 30 in 6 days. No signs of any algae yet so I'll hold off on a 75% water change until the nitrites and ammonia are both a zero.

I'm going to be changing my heaters and move rock around latter tonight. I'll post some more pics when I got that done.

hockeyhead019
11-21-2010, 01:17 AM
Nice looks like your chugging along now Cliff can't wait to see what you do with the rocks... need some pics tomorrow for sure!

domjd05
11-21-2010, 01:38 AM
love your sump setup, and I agree, a brand new setup is so ...new! haha.

Cliff
11-21-2010, 05:24 PM
I did a lot of work on the tank and sump this weekend

I removed a lot of the dry rock I had in the tank, and put that rock in the sump. I made a rock structure with the live rock I bought and moved two pcs of that rock in the sump as well. Almost 35 lbs of rock in the sump now. I had a 24Ē double T5 fixture that I put on a timer in the sump as well.

One of my heaters burnt out so I replaced both with two 300 watt titanium heaters. I really like them because they have controls and sensors that are separate from the heater itself.

The pics are not the clearest because I took them right after I was done moving things around in the tank.

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/NewTanklayout.jpg

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/Sumpwithrock2.jpg

sheamurai
11-21-2010, 06:29 PM
Really nice lookin set up, Cliff.



Obviously put together AFTER morning coffee :hmm3grin2orange:

hockeyhead019
11-21-2010, 08:43 PM
Looks real sharp Cliff! What are you using for lighting the main tank by the way?

Cliff
11-21-2010, 10:46 PM
Thanks everyone

Hockeyhead, I just have an old double T5 light fixture from my old 55 gallon that Iím using for now. I will be up-grading to a 6 blub HO T5 fixture latter on, and, before adding any corals

All along during my cycle Iíve been adding some start-up. I heard a lot of great things about this additive so I though I would give it a try. I added a full dose again after checking my parameters yesterday. Today, 0 ammonia, and 0 nitrites. I tested the water today 3 times with the exact same results. Thinking I had a problem with my test kits, I took a sample to my SW LSF to have them test the water for me. They use a higher quality test kit than I do, and they got the same results.

It looks like Iím cycled. Iíll wait until Tuesday before adding fish, just to be on the safe side. Iíll take another water sample in to our SW LFS and if the level are still all good, Iíll start with my first fish.

Cliff
11-24-2010, 11:17 PM
Now Iím really pumped

Just took another water sample to our SW LFS to test. Still comes up as 0 ammonia and 0 nitrite. For the last two days Iíve even been adding enough ammonia to at least show a 0.25 reading and yet the LFS test results and my test results still shows nothing. I really does look like Iím cycled. It looks like the test kit I have has a bad batch of nitrite test solution. My test kit at home will show no nitrites on the pre-mixed salt water I have on hand but will always show 1ppm on the tank water. I think I can trust the SW LFS test results over my test kit. They are using a higher quality test kit and it has almost one year left before it reaches its expiry date.

I think Iíll do a 30 to 50 gallon water change tonight and pick-up my first fish tomorrow after work (Canadian thanks giving was last month). Nitrates are still up around 20ppm and I want it a lot lower before the algae really gets going.

Our SW LFS has a pair of captive bread black clown fish at the store. My wife and I like them very much and they look and act really healthy. Should be a good first stocking for the tank. A pair of tough little captive bread fish. The store is going to hold the pair for me and Iíll pick them up tomorrow after work.

Iím going to wait a week or two before adding the clean-up crew. The reason being, Iím only starting to see algae in the tank. Thereís spots on the live rock that I bought which are starting to ďgreen-upĒ a bit and some spots on the dry rock that are showing some initial signs of diatoms. I guess it really helps to cycle the tank with no lights

hockeyhead019
11-24-2010, 11:38 PM
Wow congrats Cliff! Definitely gets some pictures up of the fish when you get them!

sheamurai
11-25-2010, 12:28 AM
Wuhuuu! Landmark moment - first stock!

Cliff
11-25-2010, 12:59 AM
Thx guys.

I'll get some pics up by the weekend at the latest.

Theres more algae now, almost more day to day. I guess I couldn't avoid for too long. I might get a snail or two on Sunday.

Pics will follow

Cliff
11-26-2010, 06:34 PM
It finally feel like a real set-up now. I picked-up my first two fish yesterday, two black clown fish, they are two False Perculas, of the black melanistic variety. I acclimated them last night. They are only now starting to move around and check out their new home. I just tried feeding them but no luck yet. Iíll let them settling in a little more and try feeding again in the morning. Iím a little concerned about the fact there is not a lot of algae in the tank yet so I will hold off for a few more days before getting my snails. Only two of my rock towers have some diatoms on them and there is only spotty green algae on the rock that I bought as live rock.

Iím still finalizing the rest of my stocking plan for this tank. I just need to look into dietary requirements of the other fish I would like before deciding.

WOW, I never thought I would say ď.Iím a little concerned about the fact there is not a lot of algae in the tank yetĒ.

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/BlackClown1.jpg

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/BlackClown2.jpg

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/BlackClown3.jpg

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/blackclown4.jpg

These little fish are faster than they look. It was hard to get these pics. They are both still a little young, and will turn darker shades of black as they mature.

Cliff
11-26-2010, 10:13 PM
Got a few more pic

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/LittleblackClownfish5.jpg

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/LittleBlackClownfish6.jpg

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/LittleBlackClownfish7.jpg

hockeyhead019
11-27-2010, 08:18 PM
Woooo fish! That's awesome man, pretty cool lookin fish :) gotta get em some friends now lol... well soon anyways haha

Any idea what you'll be stocking in the future?

Cliff
11-27-2010, 08:48 PM
I'm not too sure on the rest of the fish yet.

I'm still looking into different tangs, gobies and bleenies. Have not made up my mind yet. I was going to wait a week or two to add more fish (other than my clean-up crew). I want to add the rest slowly to be sure the BB will keep up. I'm aways gun-shy with newly cycled tanks.

Once I get some more algae, I'll add my snails and emerald crab.

I never thought I would find myself looking forward to a little algae !!!

Lab_Rat
11-27-2010, 09:32 PM
Cute little clowns!

hockeyhead019
11-30-2010, 09:36 PM
Hey Cliff outta curiosity do you plan to have a refugium anywhere in your system? I've read they help keep your nitrates way down since you just grow your algae in there... idk just a thought... maybe it'll help ease your worry about the new tank

Something you could look into I guess

Cliff
11-30-2010, 11:31 PM
Yes I do, I mean, almost.

I've got a refugium like compartment in the sump with live & dry rock that I will add some marco algae in. Once I do that, I know the lower flow and that fact a have a 10K double T5 light on it for 14 hours per day I know the marco algae will grow and help keep the water heathly.

I'm just waiting from my SW LFS to order in some cheato macro algae for me. WIth it being so close to X-mass, they are not going to be ordering in anything live until after the holidays. Too risky of the shipment being bumped and everything inside dieing

hockeyhead019
12-01-2010, 01:40 PM
Yea I gotcha that makes sense I'm sure you'll be fine until then lol

Rue
12-01-2010, 03:11 PM
Very cute fish. :1luvu:

I have high-speed access today - so I'm catching up with some photos...your set-up looks great!

Cliff
12-01-2010, 05:16 PM
:22: Thanks guys

Cliff
12-02-2010, 11:34 PM
Just a little bit of an up-date today. I added a small nano power head in the live rock compartment of my sump. I was a little concerned about the flow only going in one direction. The powerhead really seams to be working well. Iím also starting to notice some very small spots of coralline on the live rock coming back to life. In these spots are getting more and more purple-ish in color and seams to be growing a bit. Thereís about enough to cover a match book cover right now, but itís a positive sign. Iím going to get a test kit for calcium and alkalinity and starting testing / dosing this weekend. As Iím using really good quality salt, I am hoping I wonít have to dose a lot.

I think Iím going to add a cleaner shrimp or two this weekend as well. More pics to follow this weekend

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/Sumpup-date.jpg

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/Coraline1.jpg

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/Coraline2.jpg

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/COraline3.jpg

hockeyhead019
12-03-2010, 12:24 AM
Very nice very nice... can't wait to see your LR grow in man!!

Cliff
12-04-2010, 10:50 PM
I added to my salt water family yesterday after work. I got a minic yellow tang and a scarlet skunk cleaner shrimp. When I fed the tank this afternoon, everyone eat really good. The shrimp is pretty shy right now, hiding in the rocks and only coming out when thereís food or a fish swims by

The tang is an eating machine. He was even eating the diatoms off the rock. I put some dried seaweed in the tank for him but he hasnít figured out its food yet. Iím sure he will in time.

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/minictang.jpg

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/minictang1.jpg

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/Shrimp.jpg

Tigerbarb
12-05-2010, 03:27 AM
I like your tang.

Cliff
12-05-2010, 04:40 AM
Thanks Tigerbarb

I wanted something reef safe, good community fish, and not too common in the hobby

This little guy seamed to fit the bill

I'm looking forward to seeing his color changes as he matures

Rue
12-05-2010, 02:39 PM
Cute! Don't think I've seen one before!

sheamurai
12-05-2010, 02:59 PM
Tank is really coming along well, Cliff. Great job.

Cliff
12-05-2010, 03:34 PM
Thanks guys

hockeyhead019
12-05-2010, 06:16 PM
Awesome fish! What do his colors change to outta curiosity? And dude congrats this is really moving along great for ya!

Cliff
12-05-2010, 06:46 PM
Thanks Hockeyhead

He will end up looking something like this

http://www.thepetstop.com/adminpics/21608.jpg

hockeyhead019
12-05-2010, 10:01 PM
Now that's an awesome looking fish! Never seen one of them before haha good find Cliff!

Cliff
12-20-2010, 10:07 PM
The tank is still doing good. All parameters check out OK, 0 ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and phosphates. I switched my salt to a better quality one and it looks like it is starting to pay off as the parameters are still stable but a little closer within the normal range, Cal is right around 400, dKH at 12.5, and the PH is somewhere between 8.0 and 8.3

Now that I have a really good light fixture I just couldnít help myself and I got a few corals yesterday. Iím only going for the tougher, easier to care for corals. I got a small frag of some green star polyps, moon polyp zoa, and a long polyp toadstool leather ( sarcophyton ehrenbergi I believe ). They have only been in the tank about 24 hours and they are already opening up.

Iím going to try feeding them some microplankton in about a week or so when they have adjusted to the tank a little more.

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/TSL1.jpg

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/Zoeas.jpg

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/GSP.jpg

travie
12-20-2010, 10:14 PM
Good looking coral pick-ups there, especially those zoas.

Cliff
12-20-2010, 11:57 PM
Thanks Travie

I wasn't planning to add any corals for another month, but then I decided why not. Just three small ones for now.

hockeyhead019
12-21-2010, 02:05 PM
Nice! Keep us updated... any chance we can get a FTS real quick? That's pretty cool tho and your Zoas look awesome

sheamurai
12-21-2010, 02:15 PM
Another landmark, errr tankmark! Congrats on your first corals!

Cliff
12-21-2010, 04:04 PM
Thanks guys

Hockeyhead, my camera's battery died last night so I'll post a few pics tonight / tomorrow. I plugged it in before going to work this morning so I'll be good to go latter on tonight

hockeyhead019
12-21-2010, 04:32 PM
Cool cool... looking forward to some pics tonight... hows your coraline algae spreading?

Cliff
12-21-2010, 06:52 PM
Its starting to grow throughout the tank now. I should really be looking good in about 2 or 3 months from now

hockeyhead019
12-21-2010, 07:04 PM
Nice nice what colors do you have?

Cliff
12-21-2010, 08:26 PM
Right now only shades of pink and purple. The rock I bought as live rock is really getting some nice and dark purple spots on it. The rock I bought as dry rock has little spots of pink(ish) coraline.

I'll try and get some good pics of it tonight.

hockeyhead019
12-21-2010, 08:44 PM
Cool cool can't wait to see the pictures congrats on your progress so far man you have a pretty awesome tank and you haven't had any serious problems IMO

Cliff
12-22-2010, 11:36 PM
I got two new pic-ups the other day. I was going to wait some more, but I could not pass these guys up. The first is a dwarf flame angle. I know they guys have been known to pick at some of the smooth surfaced fleshy corals, like brain corals, but I wasnít planning to get any of those corals so I though I would give him a try. The little guy has paid no attention to corals and has eaten when I fed the tank. Still a little shy, heís still getting use to the tank.

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/DSC04939.jpg

The second pick-up is a rose tipped bubble anemone. I bought this from a guy I had met at our SW LFS. He just up-graded his tank and wanted to make even more room for hard corals. Below is a pic of the anemone in his tank. This pic was taken under a 6 bulb T5 light fixture with 3 superblue and 3 18000K bulbs in a 80 gallon tank. It was about 6Ē in his tank. He/She is still a little stressed from the move and doesnít look anything like that right now, but he/she should in time. Right now its about 3Ē and still getting used to his/her new home. Itís just starting to fill itself with water now. It stuck right to the rock I set it on. I want he/her to get used to the tank and find a spot he/her likes so I can add more corals latter on.

I'll try to post some full tank pics this week

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/IMG_5280.jpg

Rue
12-22-2010, 11:44 PM
Oooooh! Luv the anemone photo...

I think I'm going to 'borrow' it and make it my computer screen for a while...(er, if you don't mind)...

Cliff
12-23-2010, 12:06 AM
Not at all, it's on my desk-top right now.

Thanks Rue

Don't be too disappointed when I post some pics latter tonight with him in my tank. He's only just started to inflate himself again,

Cliff
12-23-2010, 12:32 AM
No one make fun of him (heís still a little shy), but hereís a pic of the anemone in my tank. Itís going to take a while for him to get used to his new home a look like he did before. Heís still sitting exactly were I put so Iím hoping that is his spot. Only time will tell. I also managed to get a full pic of the tank and one of my tang who decided to pose for me while picking at the rocks. I wasnít fast enough today to snap a pic before the white bulbs cut out only leaving the super blue bulbs on.

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/a2.jpg

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/fulltank.jpg

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/yellowtang.jpg

hockeyhead019
12-23-2010, 01:00 AM
FTS!!! lol congrats on the nem man looks fantastic... and your flame angel looks awesome good to know it hasn't even paid any attention to any corals

Cliff
12-23-2010, 03:20 AM
Thanks Hockeyhead

I'm actually more excited about watching the anemone return to his past apprearance.

MCHRKiller
12-23-2010, 05:03 AM
Tank is looking good :11: Really makes me wish I had gone larger than 55G! Those rock covered pipes would look amazing as a tower of zoas :14:

Cliff
12-23-2010, 12:20 PM
Thanks Jenn.

Thats not a bad idea. I think I might try that on my rock covered return line.

Cliff
12-24-2010, 09:19 PM
I had to move a large rock out of sump into my tank so I could move my anemone up closer to the light. He started to look pale. Now heís getting more color and has opened up a little more. I can see his mouth now so I will try to feed him tomorrow.

I guy I bought the anemone from also was trying to sell a few frags. I bought some candycane and frogspaun (spelling?) frags from him. I will be picking them up form him sometime closer to the new year.

Iíll post some pics after X-mass

Have a great Christmas everyone

kaybee
12-25-2010, 02:13 PM
Candy cane coral and frogspawn are nice LPS selections. Candy cane (Calauastrea) are particularly extremely hardy stony corals.

Cliff
01-04-2011, 02:15 AM
I havenít been doing much with the tank over the holidays. I originally was waiting for the anemone I got to find a place he likes and settles in to stay. But the darn thing split. It looks like one of the anemones found a spot it likes but the second one is still hiding between two rocks. Looks like the frags I got will stay on the frag rack for now.

I got a great deal on a used 8 bulb HOT5 fixture. 6 of the bulbs are likely over three years old (according to the guy I bought it from) so I will wait for my income tax return to get 6 replacement bulbs and use the new fixture

My new wave maker should be in sometime this month.

Can't wait to get the last few pcs of equipment up and running.

hockeyhead019
01-04-2011, 01:26 PM
Damn dude an 8 bulb... that'll definitely give ya enough light haha (hockeyhead turns green with envy lol)

Rue
01-04-2011, 06:04 PM
Watch out for the anemones taking over the tank...that's what happened to mine.:sconfused:

I finally got rid of most of them (18 or so)...and am back up to 4. But so far they seem to be staying put and small.

Cliff
01-04-2011, 10:34 PM
Thanks guys

Rue, 18 !!!! *Cliff's now a little worried*

I'm hoping Colby will need some new stock soon.

Cliff
01-04-2011, 10:54 PM
Damn dude an 8 bulb... that'll definitely give ya enough light haha (hockeyhead turns green with envy lol)

You shouldn't be green with envy, I still have to buy 6 more blubs :scry:

At least once I do, I won't be limited by lighting for any corals I may want

flydustydawg
01-04-2011, 11:31 PM
I need to stop reading this thread before I go out and buy a SW tank lol.

Very nice tank cliff!

Cliff
01-04-2011, 11:56 PM
Flydustydawg, be careful.....that's how it started for. :hmm3grin2orange:

Thx for the kind words

chrisfraser05
01-05-2011, 12:44 AM
Just got round to re-reading this start to finish Cliff and your tank is ace!

Can't wait to get mine started :~)

Cliff
01-05-2011, 01:48 AM
Thx Chisfraser05

I can't wait to start reading your SW tank journal

flydustydawg
01-05-2011, 02:32 AM
hahah yea I wasnt kidding. If I had the funds I would have one in a heart beat.

Cliff
01-05-2011, 02:35 AM
Neither was I (blush)

Seriously, after reading siome SW tank journal I got it in my head that I should try a SW tank. Spent a few months reading books and researching which only made me want one more.

Sounds like it's only a matter of time for you :hmm3grin2orange:

flydustydawg
01-05-2011, 02:42 AM
Oh yes lol. It is what I have wanted from the start but figured a 55 FW would do. Then I got my 65 african tank thought that would be enough for a wile. I know want a bigger african tank.

Im trying to make my self wait a year from now until I attempt a SW (I know that is not realistic though haha.)

Cliff
01-08-2011, 05:09 AM
Will it's offical, my anemone split. The bigger half has moved about 2" away from the smaller half. I fed the bigger one a silver side tonight and he wasted no time taking it in. I had to keep the shrimp away as they kept trying to steel the food right out of his mouth.

The smaller half is still tightly tucked in between two rocks with only some of his tenticals streching out. He should be fine within a few days.

I'll have to pick one to keep and one to sell soon

I'm hoping to get some new bulbs for my 8 bulb HOT5 this weekend. If I do I'll post a few pics

hockeyhead019
01-08-2011, 02:38 PM
Nice any chance we can get a pic of the nems?

Cliff
01-08-2011, 04:02 PM
Pics will follow as soon as I cen get a mounting kit and new bulbs for my new fixture.

Stay Tuned !

chrisfraser05
01-08-2011, 04:35 PM
Sounds good buddy.

Can't wait to see some updated pics :)

Did it take long to split?

Chris.



P.s.

My SW journal will make an appearance tonight ;)

Cliff
01-08-2011, 08:42 PM
Thanks Chris

I don`t know how long it took to split. It was in the rocks for about 3 weeks, and last night one of them came out.

chrisfraser05
01-08-2011, 09:19 PM
Cool :18: :hmm3grin2orange:

Cliff
01-09-2011, 11:26 PM
Just a few pics for an up-date today.

My camera isnít the best, it always seam to pic-up on the blue more so than the white from the current light fixture. I donít think the flash is working correctly anymore. I have a T8 fixture I will likely have installed on the tank next weekend so you should see a big improvement in the quality of the pics once that is done.

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/FTS10Jan11.jpg

The anemones arenít fully out in these pics, I just feed both of them and they were busy trying to swallow before the shrimp could come along and steel their supper. You can't tell from these pics, but they are only 2" apart on the same large rock

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/an1.jpg

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/An2.jpg

The Green Palau Nepthea that I got just before X-mass seams to be doing well despite the fact our two clown fish still keep trying to host in it. I guess they donít like either of the two anemones in the tank

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/DSC05088.jpg

Cliff
01-09-2011, 11:29 PM
The frogspawn seems do be doing well. I havenít noticed any feeding tentacles at night yet but he dose look a lot happier over the past 2 weeks

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/Frogspawn.jpg

Today we also got a finger leather and a clam. Both are still adjusting to their new home.

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/Fingerleather.jpg

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/Claim.jpg

Cliff
01-09-2011, 11:32 PM
We also picked up some cool new frags. We got two different Australian Acan corals. These pics really donít show the nice orange and reds these corals have. Also, I found a purely orange zoa frag so I had to get it. Going to have to wait a little longer an make sure the anemones are happy were they are before I can put and frags on the rocks,

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/Frags1.jpg

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/Frags2.jpg

jrmy000
01-09-2011, 11:58 PM
Those are nice, Good job.

chrisfraser05
01-10-2011, 12:01 AM
I love the contrasting colours or the corals Cliff :)

kaybee
01-10-2011, 12:08 AM
Very nice frags!

I like the acans!


The frogspawn seems do be doing well. I havenít noticed any feeding tentacles at night...

From my understanding and observation frogspawn coral (and other Euphyllia species) do not have nocturnal feeder tentacles. While many LPS corals reveal their tentacles at night, the euphyllia's seem to do the opposite (polyp expansion during daylight, polyp retraction at night).

They can still feed at night though.

Cliff
01-10-2011, 12:23 AM
Thanks guys. I've been trying to find some non-typical corals as well just for something different.

Kaybee, you are 100% correct. The guy I bought the frag from was telling my that it was easiest to feed his frogspawn just after lights outs as that when it seemed to feed the most. I had thought that was a little off to. That's why I'm still looking for it.

hockeyhead019
01-10-2011, 01:21 AM
wow awesome corals man! What'd you make that nifty (yea I used nifty) little stand out of that's holding the frags right now? It's a good idea while the nems tries to get settled lol

Cliff
01-10-2011, 03:05 AM
Thanks Hockeyhead

I actually bought a rack thing (and that's the technial name for it:hmm3grin2orange: ) for holding frags, but it didn't fit anywheres in my tank so I cut it down and made two of them. The second one is currently being held in place by my mag-float magnet glass cleaner. As the second one will only be used for a short time, I didn't want to buy anything for it.

Thanks for all the replies everyone thumbs2:

sheamurai
01-11-2011, 02:30 AM
Great looking frags/coral Cliff! Sure didn't take you long to jump on the coral bandwagon...


*reply to earlier post*
My clowns never did use the anemone as a host. They prefer the bubble and frogspawn coral...

kingkarter
01-11-2011, 02:36 AM
Awsome tank!

Cliff
01-11-2011, 12:31 PM
Thanks guys

Sheamurai: your right, I didn't wait nearly as long as I had planned before adding. There was a few guys on a local reef forum in the city that I live in who were selling frags and corals to make room for new stuf they ordered. I couldn't pass up those great deals. After looking into a little more, I found out most corals have a exermely low bioload (when compaired to fish) so I went for it.

Water parameters are still maintaining stable and everything but one of the frags seams to be doing good in the tank. One of the acans just dosn't seam to be recovering from the stress of the move to it's current home. I'll try feeding it soon to see if that helps

Rue
01-11-2011, 02:47 PM
Heh. Hard to pass up a good deal. I'm scared to even look when I drop in for water or food...

sheamurai
01-12-2011, 12:24 AM
That exactly what happened to me...no intention of gtting corals...but...then a guy who was moving was getting rid of a tank, and I answered his ad to buy his light fixture...came home with frogspawn, anemone, shrooms, zoas....oh, and the light fixture, lol.

Cliff
01-12-2011, 01:39 AM
Hahaha, too close to home, LOL

The guy I bought my used 8 bulb HOT5 fixture from tossed in all the shrooms you see in my pics. Just a great older guy who resently retired and was up-grading all his equipment on his two 130 gallon tanks. He was just really happy to spend 2 hours talking about his tanks with some who shares the hobby.

hockeyhead019
01-12-2011, 02:24 AM
Always the best people lol. The guy I bought my pump with talked to me for a good hour and a half. He said he was sorry I didn't have my tank up and going or he woulda hooked me up with some frags as well haha

Funny how the hobby can be such a conversation started between complete strangers lol

Any word on the nem movement? Have they moved away from the nook in the rocks or they still hangin out there?

Cliff
01-12-2011, 02:44 AM
They are still staying put.

The bigger one is very colorful, eats really well, and stay open for most of the day. Thsi one is also out form the rocks with only his boot hidden. I'm worried about the smaller one as he seams to have some trouble eating and spends a lot of time hiding. As he's getting enough like, I'll just have to keep and eye on him and keep offereing food. I think he is still adjusting to the single life.

I'm thinking about keeping both for as long as I can, or at least until they start getting to big and it looks like one of them might move for more room. The guys at our SW LFS will take one and sell him, giving my a % of the sale. But seeing as my wife and I are talking about another SW tank, I would like to keep both until we have the second SW tank set-up or they start getting too big for one tank

Cliff
01-18-2011, 02:35 AM
Just a few pics now that I have the new 8 bulb HOT5 fixture on my tank. The fixture has 2 bulbs on one switch and 6 on another. I use timers for 2 bulbs come one in the morning then go out when the 6 bulbs come on. In the evening when the 6 bulbs cut out and the two bulbs come on followed by the moon lights. I'm trying for a more natural lighting cycle.

Iím not 100% sure I like the bulbs I have in there and might switch out one white with a super blue.

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/15janFTS.jpg

The anemones seem to be doing well, eating anything I offer them

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/ann2.jpg

The Green star polyps seam to be doing good as well. I'm thinking about getting a few more frags

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/Grenstar.jpg

This past weekend my wife bought me a brain. I think she was hinting at something but I just can't put my finger on it

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/mybrain.jpg

Cliff
01-18-2011, 02:36 AM
And of course, one last pic of my yellow minic tang

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/Yellowminictang.jpg

hockeyhead019
01-18-2011, 03:59 AM
Awesome pics man! The tank is really getting some color now and those are some really cool looking nems!

I really like the scaping, looks really cool man

Cliff
01-18-2011, 04:07 AM
Thank Hockeyhead

I've also started feeding my orange acan corals to help them grow faster and brighten their colors. Hopfully, I'll start seeing progress in a few weeks

I can't wait to start seeing corals and livestock in your tank

Cheers

ILuvMyGoldBarb
01-18-2011, 11:26 AM
Tank is looking great Cliff. Keep an eye on your Flame Angel with your new brain. Some specimens do take a liking to picking at LPS polyps.

CassieLEO
01-18-2011, 11:27 AM
Cliff I am so amazed at how you set this journal up!! It is amazing to read, and has inspired me to set up a saltwater tank one of these days. Thank you so much for this!!! Amzing tank buddy!!!!

Cliff
01-18-2011, 12:23 PM
Thanks guys


Tank is looking great Cliff. Keep an eye on your Flame Angel with your new brain. Some specimens do take a liking to picking at LPS polyps.

So far it's going OK with the flame angle. I know this guys are risky in a reef tank with the smooth surfaced corals. Some flame angles are OK while others are down right awful with corals. So far I've only seam him pick at the green star polyps when they are fully retracted. I honestly think the fish can't tell were the coraline ends and the polyp begins when the surface is smooth. When the polyps are fully extended he won't touch it.

My wife and I are certainly keeping an eye on him to make sure if he starts eating any of the corals so we can rehome him. My SW LFS already committed to selling him for me should it not work out.

Thanks guys

chrisfraser05
01-18-2011, 02:22 PM
meant to comment on your tank earlier Cliff!

I just noticed how the dead rock was starting to colour up nicely.
Is it really noticable in the flesh so to speak?

Cliff
01-18-2011, 03:12 PM
Thanks Chris

It is starting to darken up quite a bit. Theres a few very small spots of coriline as well, but not that much. Still no other algae in the tank. Just a little on the rock I bought as live rock. My tang and 5 snails are keeping that well under controll.

I'm going to have to buy some algea this weekend for the snails to much on so I know for sure they are getting enough to eat

hockeyhead019
01-26-2011, 07:09 PM
Any updates Cliff? (read as : give me a FTS!! lol)

Cliff
01-26-2011, 07:12 PM
LOL, payback is tough some times

I'll take a few pics and up-date this weekend

CassieLEO
01-26-2011, 08:40 PM
I cant wait to see them!!!!! :D

chrisfraser05
01-26-2011, 08:50 PM
I can't wait either :)

Cliff
01-31-2011, 01:58 AM
Iíve been adding a few more corals to the tank. I still don't have any large amount of algae, but the coraline is really starting to come in nicely

I ask our SW LFS to order in a few pcs for me and they came in this weekend. I really like this store as it is a small family owned business, the two guys that work there know what they are talking about, and they can order in almost any coral you want. And now that I have returned the coral stressing shrimp back to the store, I had to re-arrange a little in the tank. My camera doesnít seem to deal well with a little blue coloring in the light so the colors donít show as well as they do in real life.

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/FTS30Jan.jpg

I got a red Ė multi colour brain coral. Iíve fed him already and it eat pretty good

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/Brians.jpg

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/Redbrian.jpg

I also got a long tentacle plate coral. Itís base is yellow and the tentacles are a bland yellowish color with brighter yellow tips. I fed this guy as well today and he eat. Thereís some damage on him from shipping but he should recover nicely

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/Plate.jpg

Cliff
01-31-2011, 02:06 AM
I also got a new multi colored frog spawn. The base of the tentacles are purple, the tips are a bright green and some of them are purple.

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/newfrogspawn.jpg

We also got some orange and blue zoa frags and a frag of pink/purple star polypus. In the pic it's to the left of the long polyup toadstood leather.

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/Newzoas.jpg

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/pinkstareandtoadstool.jpg

And a pic of my first SPS. I got a great deal so I thought I would try a single SPS and see how it goes. It's about 3/4 of the way to the top of the tank were there is a lot of flow $ light so he should be good. I've been able to keep all levels stable and the alk at 10 and Cal at 410 so it looks good.

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/NewSPS.jpg

hockeyhead019
01-31-2011, 02:16 AM
Nice pics man! Congrats on the new corals! What's that behind the frogspawn?

Cliff
01-31-2011, 02:18 AM
There's two different frog spawn in the tank. The one behind the new one is just a dull green color as compaired to the new one. Both pics were taken early today, just after the lights came on so they are not fully extended yet.

Behind both frog spawn is my rock covered sump return line.

hockeyhead019
01-31-2011, 02:24 AM
gotcha gotcha I didn't know if the one behind the new frogspawn was a nem or another frogspawn... nice additions though man! Really moving along :)

chrisfraser05
01-31-2011, 01:10 PM
Ooooohhhhh!!! I really like the frog spawn cliff :)

kaybee
01-31-2011, 01:21 PM
Very nice additions!

ILuvMyGoldBarb
02-01-2011, 03:02 AM
Nice looking corals Cliff. How far apart are those 2 Frogspawns?

Cliff
02-01-2011, 03:12 AM
The first frag and the last larger frag are about 5 inchs apart (edge to edge when they are extended). Its hard to see that from the pic and the effect of the tank glass. I'm thinking about move the solid green one (the first one) further up on the rock towards the back giving everything a little more space.

I'm just going to wait to let the new addition settle in a bit before stressing them out again by shacking/moving the rock while I work on it.

Rue
02-01-2011, 04:54 AM
Nice! I'm impressed. The frog spawn are really cool.

Cliff
02-07-2011, 03:29 AM
I know this day had to come. I've started seeing algae growth on the back glass of the tank. I guess after about 4 months it was bound to happen.

I started seeing some algae growing, more than normal that is. I looked like the clean-up crew was falling behind, so I got a few additions to the clean-up crew. I added a stary blenny, another emerald crab, and 10 more astraea snails. The algae is by no means a problem right now, I just want to make a few adjustments now before it is a big problem.

I think the increase in algae was caused mostly by adding coral food to the tank to compensate for no nitrates in the tank. Although the corals are really looking better, so is the algae. Iím going to cut back the coral food dosing amount by 25% and see if that and the new additions to the clean up crew will now be able to handle the new algae growth


On the plus side I now can have a good sized clean-up crew. Up until now I just had 12 snails. I just love watching the snails and the crabs (when I can see them). The blenny is pretty cool too

Sorry, but it looks like the rechargeable battery in my camera is shot so it will take a little longer for some pics

hockeyhead019
02-07-2011, 04:50 AM
Well it was bound to happen sooner or later lol... good that you're making moves before it becomes and eye sore... congrats on the new members of the CUC haha they might be my favorite thing to watch... love my emerald when he's out and about at night haha

Put some pics up when you can!

flydustydawg
02-07-2011, 12:02 PM
Things are looking great cliff! I Really like the new frogspawn.

Cliff
02-07-2011, 04:59 PM
Thanks guys

Hopefully I can get a new battery for my camera this weekend and post a few FTS with all the new coral and CUC. I've order a few frags from my SW LFS but once they arrive, I think I've pretty much stocked this tank with all the coral that I have room for once it grows out in a few months.

I'm also pretty sure I'm at my tank's limit for livestock so I can't see adding any more fish without risking some problems.

Rue
02-07-2011, 05:01 PM
Tsk...time for another SW tank to expand to! :14:

Cliff
02-07-2011, 05:54 PM
Tsk...time for another SW tank to expand to! :14:

Your starting to sound like my wife :hmm3grin2orange:

She been bugging me to set-up a second SW tank. She's really getting into our 90 gallons SW set-up and would like a second. We are currently looking into options to have a custom tank made that would fit a small nook in the dining room / kitchen area (approx 85 gallon tank), or a second 90 gallon set-up

We're not too sure which one would be best for us.

Hopfully we would have this second SW set-up sometime this summer / fall. Just want to make sure we will have the time to commit to another tank and also be able to enjoy another set-up

hockeyhead019
02-08-2011, 12:28 AM
haha well glad to hear everything is going well and that the wife is into it man haha my gf thinks i'm nuts haha but she does love looking at everything in the tank when she comes over haha

I think a second 90 would be cool but I guess it comes down to whatever you have the money/room for haha

NEEEEEDDDD... PICS.

sheamurai
02-08-2011, 02:51 AM
lol
I keep telling myself I have no more room for tanks, but my current square 50gal reef is in a corner and they make lovely 90gal corner tanks...LOL

They don't call it MTS for nuthin

hockeyhead019
02-08-2011, 03:23 AM
hey cliff what is it that your using to attach your corals? It looks like some kinda clay type stuff?

Cliff
02-08-2011, 04:34 AM
sheamurai: I guess I didn't think my wife would get MTS

Hockeyhead: I used the below products for attaching corals and frags to pcs of rock. Theres a glue like one for frags and a coraline colored two part putty to attaching larger corals to your rock


http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/review/showproduct.php?product=439&cat=500

http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/review/showproduct.php?product=434&cat=32

http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/review/showproduct.php?product=403&cat=500

kingkarter
02-08-2011, 04:52 AM
Nice tank! I need to stop reading salt water journals befor i go out and buy anothere 55g lol.

hockeyhead019
02-08-2011, 04:54 AM
Gotcha thanks for the info Cliff!

Cliff
02-12-2011, 05:41 AM
Youíll have to excuse the poor quality pics, the flash on my camera is still not working correctly

The coralline continues to grow all over the tank. The new additions to the clean up crew are doing there job, the algae is very much under control. There is a lot less than there was last weekend. If this keeps up, Iíll have to start growing alge in the sump on some smaller rocks so I will have some algae to place in the tank for the crabs, snails, and stary blenny

Even with two anemones in the tank, our tow clown fish are now hosting in the green palau nepthea. They have been doing this for about 5 weeks now. The coral is not showing any signs of stress from this so Iíll let them be and keep a close eye on them for a while to make sure

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/clowns11.jpg

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/Clowns16.jpg

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/Clowns15.jpg

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/Flameangle11.jpg

chrisfraser05
02-12-2011, 08:18 AM
I know I should go back and read up but....

are they clark clowns?

Cliff
02-12-2011, 01:02 PM
I know I should go back and read up but....

are they clark clowns?


If I remember correctly, they are false perculas, of the black melanistic variety.

hockeyhead019
02-12-2011, 01:15 PM
Cool pics man! I always thought it was cool to see a clown host something...

Hey I'm gonna go back in time on ya here... when you were attaching your dry rock to your pvc, did you just use regular silicone? And have you seen any effects because of it?

Cliff
02-12-2011, 01:26 PM
You are correct, just regular aquarium safe silicone and no bad side effects. I only used it on the dry rock not the live rock. You really have to clean the spot the silicone is going to be applied to very well to make sure it will stick.

I also used some reef putty to fill in a few gaps and make the rok structure even more solid

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/DYIRockstandStepone.jpg

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/DIYRockstandStep3.jpg

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/DIYRockstandStep2.jpg

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/90withdryrock3.jpg

hockeyhead019
02-17-2011, 12:19 AM
Gotcha thanks... that's how I did my little new structure lol minus the pvc... just rock siliconed to rock

Anyways any new updates? Any FTS (read please put up a FTS) lol how the nems doing?

Cliff
02-17-2011, 12:21 AM
mems are doing great, getting bigger and bigger each week it seams. One moved about 3" so they are a little further apart now. I'll post a few pics of them this weekend

I'll also post FTS sometime this weekend

Cheers

hockeyhead019
02-17-2011, 12:26 AM
Good stuff man glad to hear it!

Cliff
02-20-2011, 10:39 PM
About a few weeks ago I decided I was going to try a better quality reef crystals. Iím not too sure itís making a difference and will likely switch back to the reef crystals I was using before and save a little $$$$. Hereís a few FTS. The additions to the clean-up crew are working great. As you can see, very little algae and the coralline is slowly taking hold in the tank

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/FTS19Feb2011.jpg

I also managed to get a few pics of one of the emerald crabs. These little guys are very hard to find when the tank lights are on

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/Emerald1.jpg

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/Emerald1.jpg

Cliff
02-20-2011, 10:42 PM
I have added a few new SPS corals and a blasto LPS. The SW LFS that I go too had the SPS marked down almost Ĺ off, so I had to get a few more. The first SPS that I added to the tank is doing really well so Iím going try a few more.

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/sps4.jpg

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/SPS6.jpg


The anemones are starting to get there color back. Thereís more and more darker shades starting to return.

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/neme.jpg

hockeyhead019
02-20-2011, 11:03 PM
Wow man the tank looks fantastic!!

Good to see both nems have opened up... they look really cool how they're slit into a crevice like that!

And yea the emeralds are almost impossible to find during the day haha but always a cool sight when you do see them.

Thinking about adding anymore fish or are you about done with the stocking?

Cliff
02-20-2011, 11:09 PM
Thanks Hockeyhead

I can't see me adding any fish. I'm pretty happy with the current critters

Corals on the other hand are a totally different story ! :hmm3grin2orange:

hockeyhead019
02-20-2011, 11:23 PM
Nice nice haha and yea man corals are addictive but also awesome haha

Well the tank looks great man! Everything looks like it's coming along really well

Rue
02-20-2011, 11:36 PM
Very nice! thumbs2:

BTW...how are plans for your Dad's tank coming along?

Cliff
02-20-2011, 11:39 PM
Thanks Rue

Dad still want to get a tank. he wants hit some guarge sales this spring and get a good used tank. I'm going to try to get him a 75 gallon and I'm going to biuld a stand for him. Hopfully I'll have him all set-up in May

Rue
02-20-2011, 11:41 PM
Nice! Garage sale-ing will be fun! Er, at least I hope so...if you both enjoy it...

Cliff
03-06-2011, 09:04 PM
Just a little update today. The coraline is still coming in nicely but very little other algae. I got my blenny to eat flakes and seaweed and I have been spot feeding my emerald crab some pellets. Over the past 3 weeks or so, Iíve added some red & green blastos, and a golden torch coral.

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/blastos.jpg

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/goldtorch.jpg

The clown are still fighting it our to see who is going to be the male and female of the pair, but at least one of them has started to host in the anemones (which now open up around 5 to 7 inches). The other is still hosting in the green palau nepthea but at least the coral is not showing any signs of stress and is growing a little.

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/Hostingclown.jpg

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/Hostingclown2.jpg

hockeyhead019
03-07-2011, 03:14 AM
Awesome shot of the clowns hosting man! Glad to hear all is well and the new coral looks awesome. What kind of coral is the second picture of?

Cliff
03-07-2011, 03:16 AM
Thx Hockeyhead

The one second from the top is a Austrailian golden torch coral

labnjab
03-07-2011, 12:09 PM
Nice blastos, I've got a head of the same one

Cliff
03-07-2011, 05:11 PM
Thanks Labnjab

They have really started to color up over the past few days after I fed them.

Cliff
03-13-2011, 09:53 PM
Just a small up-date with a pic

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/DSC05798.jpg

My SPS now has some noticeable growth, about a 1/4 inch worth. The new SPS frags are really starting to color up and are turning more blue/green all the time. My brains are growing as well. They got big enough that they are touching each other sometimes.

I also got a pretty big surprise today when I saw three emerald crabs in the tank. That was a little shocking considering that I only added two males. Looks like I got a hitch hiker after all. At least I hope this new guy is a emerald crab or I could be in for some problems as not all crabs are good for corals. I'm still trying to ID the new guy.

Iím getting a lot of coralline growth on the rock and it really starting to color up. There is some algae growth on the glass which is a good thing for my snails.

Rue
03-13-2011, 10:00 PM
Nice! Did the anemones take over that middle section there?

hockeyhead019
03-13-2011, 10:09 PM
wow man that's fantastic looking!! love the layout and the different levels you have for the corals... and the nems are looking great!!

Cool to hear about the hitchiker you found, always fun to find something, or see something you haven't in a while haha

Keep up the good work man the tank is lookin great!!

chrisfraser05
03-13-2011, 10:16 PM
looking stunning bud thumbs2:

was just sitting comparing the colour of the rocks with the colour they were back on page one of the thread.

My wife loves the tank too :22:

Is it just coraline algae on the ocean rock or has anything else started growing on there too?

Cliff
03-13-2011, 10:19 PM
Thanks guys

The nems actually have opened up a lot more in the past than in this pic. I fed them about 20 mintues before taking this so they are not fully opened yet

I'm hoping to be able to keep both of them until I have my 120 gallon set-up and cycled so I can move one of them out of the 90

thanks guys

Cliff
03-13-2011, 10:21 PM
Thanks Chris

Just coraline so far. And two spots of hair algae my blenny keeps in check

Cliff
03-18-2011, 12:00 AM
While trying to find and catch the ďhitch hikerĒ crab that I found the other day, I managed to get a few pics with my cell phone. If I could hold my hand steady, the phone would like take better pics than my camera :ssuprised:

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/emerald1-1.jpg

BTW, that's my emerald crab, not the hitch-hiker I'm trying to snag

The next two are of my starry blenny. I really like this guy as he has a TON of personality

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/blenny1.jpg

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/blennytwo.jpg

hockeyhead019
03-18-2011, 09:01 PM
Nice pictures man! You have a really deep colored emerald haha looks really cool dude!

Cliff
04-03-2011, 01:14 PM
The tank seams to be doing well. I had some aiptasia pop up in the tank so I tried some aiptasia destroyer and so far it looks like it worked. Its been about two/three weeks now and no signs of new ones. If they come back Iíll try a peppermint shrimp.

The SPS have really started to grow. I have two frags of blue acropora that have doubled in size and my yellow/green acrpora is growing really good as well. I also added a deepwater acropora, a apcropora millepora, and a branching monti. I also added a 4th powerhead to get better flow in the tank.

Iím really getting into SPS

I had to increase the daily dosing amount to keep the Cal at 400, and dKH at 9. With the increased SPS, I had to increase the dosing to match. I will have to keep a close eye on the Cal and dKH and be ready to increasing the dosing as the newly add SPS starts growing and using more.


http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/FTS02April.jpg

Rue
04-03-2011, 01:48 PM
It looks awesome! I'm jealous!thumbs2:

kaybee
04-03-2011, 01:55 PM
I agree, very nice!

Great aquascaping and coral placement!

DylanisHawttt
04-03-2011, 03:37 PM
I just went through all 22 pages of this and the transformation is amazing.

Great Reef Cliff; really makes me want start a SW tank. I read how you told 2 people once you start researching SW it won't stop til you get your own tank.... I think you're right :hmm3grin2orange:

hockeyhead019
04-03-2011, 04:16 PM
Tank looks fantastic man! Well done, love the mix of coral placement and your scaping!

Out of curiosity what's your fish stocking list look like?

Cliff
04-03-2011, 04:28 PM
Thanks guys

DylanisHawttt: It can be really addictive

Hockeyhead: the fish stocking list hasn't changed. I still have: two clowns, a yellow minic tang, a dwarf flame angel, a stary blenny, two emerald crabs, and a bunch of snails. Right now I'm babysitting a nso tang for a friend while she is getting her tank repaired.

ILuvMyGoldBarb
04-03-2011, 05:39 PM
Looks great Cliff. love the look of that tank. How is your Flame Angel doing with the LPS.

Cliff
04-03-2011, 06:10 PM
Thanks Goldbarb. I got lucky with the flame angel. He leaves the LPS alone.

Surfdog
04-18-2011, 11:19 PM
Awesome Cliff! Great looking Tank. And the Journal is a great read as well. But in your last FTS, maybe you shoulda moved your Magnet cleaner! :hmm3grin2orange:

Cliff
04-18-2011, 11:24 PM
LOL, the magnet AND the veggie clip

I'm just so used to seeing them I don't even notice it anymore

sheamurai
04-18-2011, 11:38 PM
NICE!
very impressive Cliff, looks great

Cliff
04-19-2011, 12:18 AM
Thanks :22:

Cliff
06-05-2011, 10:11 PM
As I would like to make this tank to be a mostly SPS reef tank, I decided to increase the flow a little. I changed one powerhead from 750 GPH to a 1100 GPH one. Now, one of the anemones has decided he doesnít like the extra flow and has been moving around in the rock pile he was originally attached to. He has been moving about 8 inches a day, for the past 2 or 3 days.

I had to move a few SPS onto the frag racks so they would not get stung

It's amazing how a little change like that can be a big deal for some (or at least one) of the critters inside

I'll post some pics latter on, the battery is currently charging on my camera

sheamurai
06-05-2011, 10:16 PM
yes, I hear ya on that. You adjust one thing to make something happier, and another critter becomes out of sorts.
I've finally - after a year and half - found an arrangement that seems to work, and now I'm paranoid of moving ANYthing for fear of unsettling somebody and have to start the whole process again...because you can never replicate something you had set up before.

Cliff
06-05-2011, 10:25 PM
Sounds like you found the ďsweet spotĒ for your tank, congrats. That is not an easy thing to do

I got a few pics with my cell phone. No the best quality, but you get the idea. Both of them used to be at the bottom of the rock pile until one decided it was time to move. I moved the SPS back for now, but I might put it on the frag again if I see any signs of movement again

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/MovingNem2.jpg

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/001.jpg

clainbro2
06-06-2011, 04:12 PM
This is really one of the best tank journals I've ever read, thanks for taking the time to make it. :)

chrisfraser05
06-06-2011, 04:42 PM
Got to say, with the exception of the 2000G tank build in a guys kitchen I'm half way through reading, this is one of the better ones I've read in a while too.

Lovely clowns Cliff, will get some black ones some day!

hockeyhead019
06-06-2011, 05:06 PM
Great pics Cliff!! always cool to see the clowns in the nem... wish my nem would open up like yours though! Magnificent

Cliff
06-06-2011, 09:11 PM
Thanks guys thumbs2:

Hockeyhead, that nem is only 1/2 open right now. Once he settles into a place he likes, I'll take a pic of him fully open.

This morning when I checked the tank before going to work, that nem had moved to the back of the rocks. With my luck he's going to stay there.

hockeyhead019
06-07-2011, 12:22 AM
yea I flipped one of my rocks since my nem did the same thing lol but at least you have two!! haha they're awesome little creatures

sheamurai
06-09-2011, 02:00 AM
They are neat critters, but I had to get rid of mine they were just too much for my little tank. Even once it had found a spot, it would split and then the clone would wander the tank threatening all the other coral...too much of a PITA so I rehomed it...with a bigger tank you'll have better luck!

clainbro2
06-09-2011, 02:37 AM
They are neat critters, but I had to get rid of mine they were just too much for my little tank. Even once it had found a spot, it would split and then the clone would wander the tank threatening all the other coral...too much of a PITA so I rehomed it...with a bigger tank you'll have better luck!

How big was your tank?

sheamurai
06-09-2011, 11:36 PM
Its a 30" 50gal...

Cliff
07-12-2011, 12:39 AM
I have changed a lot in the look of this tank over the weekend. I moved almost all of the LPS and soft corals to my other tank and moved my red carpet anemone into this tank. My RBTA is now in the far right side of the tank, and the other one just won't budge from the back of the tank.

My long term goal for this tank is going to be a SPS and anemone set-up. I even left a large space in the middle for a giant carpet anemone


http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/DSC06278.jpg

rich311k
07-12-2011, 12:49 AM
Looking good, I really like it.

Cliff
07-12-2011, 01:24 AM
Thanks Rich

The red carpet anemone has only been in this tank for 3 hours but his mouth is already closed and he has extended more that he ever did in the 120 gallon tank. I guess he hated the wave maker in the 120 gallon tank more than I thought he did.

Rue
07-12-2011, 02:33 PM
Nice!

...who'd ever have thunk that make an invert happy could be so rewarding?

Cliff
07-12-2011, 03:55 PM
Nice!

...who'd ever have thunk that make an invert happy could be so rewarding?

LOL, inverts, fish, plants, corals......... it's all the same after a while. It always puts a smile on my face to see them grow and thrive. thumbs2:

sheamurai
07-12-2011, 10:17 PM
looking really good Cliff

hockeyhead019
07-12-2011, 10:54 PM
looking great man! really jealous of your nems dude they all look great!

Cliff
08-01-2011, 12:32 AM
Just a little up-date for my 90 gallon. I took about 12 of the snails out of this tank and gave them to a friend about two weeks ago. There just wasnít enough algae to keep them healthy. And besides, each time a snail would come in contact with the red carpet anemone; the anemone would try his best to eat them. Itís bad enough the carpet anemone has already eat one of the peppermint shrimp. The red carpet is already showing signs of growing so he must be settling into his new home.

About two months ago, I switch the food I was feeding the BTA to scallops and shrimp. Since then I have noticed a big improvement in his color. He now has more of a green color to his base and orange on his tentacles. This pic doesnít really show the true colors.

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/FTS9031july.jpg

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/RedCarpet31july.jpg

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/Cliff%20fish%20tank%20pics/RBT.jpg

DylanisHawttt
08-01-2011, 02:43 AM
Cliff, did I ever tell you how badly I want to become a "Saltie" after looking at your tank? If only I had the money :scry:

Cliff
08-01-2011, 08:25 PM
Thanks DylanisHawtt

Fisharefriends27
08-01-2011, 08:59 PM
I really like the last pic. It has that real reef tank look as in good looking fish the live rock and a colorful coral thing(sorry I know little to nothing about sw, thats why I called it coral thing lol.)

Cliff
08-01-2011, 09:07 PM
Thanks Fisharefriends27.

That's actually a anemone in the last pic

Strider199
08-01-2011, 09:13 PM
Your tank is absolutely gorgeous Cliff. It makes me want to get a saltwater tank going again but I know my limitations. When I'm done with this freshwater set-up I may just have enough confidence to try my hand at saltwater again. The cost of corals, invertebrates, and fish have come down allot since the '80's. And the know-how seems to be here for the asking.

Fisharefriends27
08-01-2011, 09:25 PM
Thanks Fisharefriends27.

That's actually a anemone in the last pic
You learn something everyday :-)
Now I know that the 'coral thingy' in the last pic is an anemone. :ssmile:

hockeyhead019
08-01-2011, 10:58 PM
awesome pics man! loving the nems! congrats on getting the one to color up

gem
08-21-2011, 05:39 AM
Those nems are sweet!!!!

chrisfraser05
08-21-2011, 08:27 AM
Your tank and photography skills make me feel inadiquate Cliff.

Awesome stuff!