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55 Gallon Started

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    Posted: March 07 2010 at 9:28pm

Day 1- Just starting a 55 gallon....it will be a slow process, but making head way.  Have done freshwater for quite a while, but decided to take on a new challenge.  Here is the tank in this pic, it looks terrible, but hey it is a start.  Added sand and dead rock.  Then filled with RO water.....i rinsed the sand and thought it was clean, guess I was wrong.  It is really cloudy....not sure if I need to suck it all out and refill?  I was waiting for it to clear before I added the salt.  Those lights are just temporarily laid on there.  Fixture and powerheads should be here tomorrow, then I will add salt.  From help of the boards also should be getting some live rock going on wed.  I may have made a mistake in getting rid of some HOB filters from my freshwater setups, they would have helped in clearing the water.....all I got going in there now is a couple of sponge filters....been about 24 hours, has cleared some, but very little....thanks for all the help everyone. Any advice is appreciated!
Can't wait to get this tank moving!

Edited by bur01014 - March 12 2010 at 2:57am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jaschall Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 07 2010 at 9:33pm
what kind of sand you got in there if its utah sand it could take up to a week to become clear
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bur01014 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 07 2010 at 9:59pm
ya, it is utah sand.....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bur01014 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 08 2010 at 10:30pm
Now after I add my live rock, what do I need to be preparing to do next?  Will it begin cycling by itself, or do I need to throw in some fish food or something to get an ammonia spike going?  How long do I let it sit with live rock before adding corals or a clean up crew?  Any advice appreciated!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MadReefer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 08 2010 at 10:36pm
It all depends on what is on the live rock. I would not add anything else for at least a few days to a week ant then test.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jaschall Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 08 2010 at 10:58pm
have you put any salt in yet, if not do so. KSL has some good deals on live rock right now but I would wait tell things clear a little befor you add any rock. But when you do get some rock, ask where you buy it from if they will throw in a cup of there live sand in a bag. This will also help speed things up. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Deluxe247 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 09 2010 at 3:04pm
Just curious: what kind of sump/filtration are you planning on running?  If you have a sump set upyou could get it running and throw a filter sock on to help clear the water.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bur01014 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 09 2010 at 5:51pm
No sump, have no room in my small apartment.  For filtration- Red Sea Prizm Skimmer, Aqua C Remora Pro Skimmer, 90lbs Live Rock......hopefully in a year or two, will have a sump/refugium.....I have two skimmers in case one goes down....but am running both at the same time :)

Update- Water is finally starting to clear, went and got some filter floss and jammed it into my prizm skimmer :)....seems to be helping quite a bit.

Live Rock,LSand,and LWater go in tomorrow....hopefully powerheads come....pics will be coming shortly thereafter...(lights came today)
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A little Update: Sorry, but its another cell phone pic ... Got the live rock, a little live sand, topped tank off with 8 gallons of live water, powerheads, light fixture, and skimmer going.  The other remora pro skimmer should be here tomorrow....it may be overkill to use both, so might sell the red sea prizm.(if anyone is interested, let me know)  The water has finally started to clear up !Big smile  Placing rock isn't easy, it seemed to take forever to get the rock positioned where it had a strong foundation.  Now, I am no expert but any advice on improving the rock would be great.  Then again, I am happy enough with it... and out of frustration and laziness may just leave it be for a few days, instead of kicking up more sand.  Now as far as the cycle goes, do I need to add something to spike the ammonia so it kicks the cycle into gear?  I hear mixed reviews about this, some say add some fish food a little daily, others say a piece of shrimp, etc.  Advice is much appreciated.

Budget: Looks like I have spent a little over $500 bucks to get to this point. This includes the fact that I already owned the tank and stand.  The most surprising cost was the bucket of salt mix....around 50 bucks, but won't need to refill it for a while.  The cost was what I planned for, but hurts now because it is a reality.  Wink  Anyways, decided to just go look at some coral to get an idea of what looks interesting and how far the little amount of money I have left can go.  Wow, I failed to research enough before taking on this challenge. Many of you probably hear this plenty.  I couldn't believe what 10 to 15 bucks would get me.....basically a microscopic piece of something, it was hard to tell lol.  Forget the 5 dollar frags they had.....there was no color whatsoever on any of them.  All I could see was a mustard brown spec on each little tile.....  Looks like I will be looking at a tank full of rock for a little while in order to save up just to get some decent frags that have at least a little color and can be viewable without a microscope.  Perhaps there is a LFS that someone could recommend?  Maybe this place was just bad.....I will try another place this weekend....


Edited by bur01014 - March 12 2010 at 2:53am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MadReefer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 12 2010 at 3:18am
I have some $5 frags that are easy to see. Come over and take a look.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fishoutawater Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 12 2010 at 3:22am
$5 dollar frags can soon grow into $50+ colonies very quickly. Also, it is much better to learn with a few colored dots, than to have an accident/mistake and lose a really nice piece. Much of the satisfaction is in watching it grow anyway.
Some day, when I grow up,...

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bur01014 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 12 2010 at 3:24am
good to hear....wasn't sure if they grow REALLY slow or what....lots to learn...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bugzme Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 12 2010 at 7:45am
I have green star polyps. Free
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CapnMorgan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 12 2010 at 2:18pm
Originally posted by bur01014 bur01014 wrote:

good to hear....wasn't sure if they grow REALLY slow or what....lots to learn...
How fast corals grow depends totally on the individual coral and the setup/parameters of the tank they are in.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ksmart Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 12 2010 at 3:34pm
Thanks for posting the pic, I love hearing about updates.  You will find a lot of people on this board that will give you or sell at a good price some frags.  About the cycle yes you need to get something in there to get the ammonia spiked or else the bacteria wont grow.  You can either put fish food in or a piece of shrimp either way i dont think it matters that much.  Once you do that and start testing your parameters you will see the spike in ammonia and then nitrite and then nitrate.  Dont add any corals till your ammonia and nitrites are zero and nitrates are low, you will want to start with some mushrooms or some cheaper zoanthids.  This might take a few weeks for your tank tank to get stable so I wouldnt add anythint till then.  Good luck! 

Edited by ksmart - March 12 2010 at 3:44pm






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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Deluxe247 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 12 2010 at 3:48pm
I think your rocks look pretty descent to me.  One thing to remember, and many will suggest this, is to set up the rocks in such a way that you leave as much of your sand bed exposed as possible.  One way is to set up a few smaller rocks on the bottom to act as column supports for the bigger ones to sit on, and your reef becomes semi-suspended.  Besides that, try to have lots of caves and crevasses to make it interesting (plus critters and fish like it).  Also, a personal opinion: I like to stack my rock high so at least some of it gets close to, or even touches the surface.  I just think it looks cool.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bugzme Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 12 2010 at 6:58pm
guess you're not coming by huh?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bfessler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 12 2010 at 9:52pm
Looks like you have a good start. Consider getting your power heads to work together. What I mean is pointing them so that they push the water in the same direction. This will increase the flow throughout the tank and make you corals happy. I would place them about mid way down and point them so that you start to get a whirlpool effect with the water circling the tank. Also point them slightly upward so that they ripple the surface for good gas exchange. Getting the Gyre motion going allows you to create more flow with less  equipment.
 
As for rock placement try to keep room in the back for the water to continue to flow circling the tank. You don't have to keep all the rock off the back wall but make sure there is room for the water to circulate behind the rock. This will help eliminate dead zones and aid the gyre motion of the water. Create as many caves and openings as you can. As the current strikes the rocks and moves through the openings and caves it will create diverse flow patterns. When you add fish it will also create interesting areas for them to move through and use for getting away from the occasional aggressor.
 
While the tank is relatively empty is the best time to play around with various aquascaping ideas and maximizing the flow through the tank. Once you add fish and corals it becomes harder to make changes and more stressful on the livestock.
 
Keep the pics coming as you dial in the tank.


Edited by bfessler - March 12 2010 at 9:52pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bur01014 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 12 2010 at 10:46pm
So I want the flow going in a circular motion?  I thought I read somewhere to have the powerheads angled towards the upper middle front glass panel, causing a bouncing of the water off the glass producing the best flow......guess I will re-adjust and try to get them to make a whirlpool effect...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bur01014 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 13 2010 at 12:35am
First water test (6 hours after adding frozen shrimp)

Confusing results- ammonia- trace or .25
Nitrite- 0
Nitrates- 20

What is up with that?  Why the nitrates already?  maybe from the 8 gallons of live water I added?

Guess I will test tomorrow morning and see if ammonia goes any higher....
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