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Rottielover
Ancient Member
Username: Rottielover

Post Number: 211
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Monday, October 18, 2004 - 12:01 pm:       

One of the most important lessons I've learned so far is water hardness, AKA KH - dKH - meq/L I thought I new about this already from running discus tanks, and other FW tanks, but man was I way off with SW....

Firstly the ALK test I was using I thought read in meq/L but was actually reading in dKH,,, OH NO?!?! For those that don't already know a SW tank is supposed to have around 12-16 dKH and 4-5 meq/L So as you can see when I was getting a reading of "4" I thought that was in meq/L when in fact I was over 10 points too low on the dKH scale!!!! No wonder my clowns died! (I had some mystery deaths a while back). As it turns out, I was mesuring my pH durring the "day" cycle of the tank, and of course it was messuring 8.2-8.3 but at night it was actually dipping down into the 7.6 ranges, OUCH. So adding to the stress of moving from the LFS to my tank, the pH swings were doing in the fish.

Adding to this injury and insult I was mis reading the directions on Seachem's Marine Buffer. One "dose" was only rasing the meq/L by 1

So I mixed up a batch of make up water with enough buffer to bring my levels up and slowly dripped it in using a Kent Aquadose (IV style dripper). Now I have a bunch of fish doing very well :-)

Some other things I've learned... Avoid the Red Sea tests for Alk and Calcium, they are not easy to use and many on the internet have said they are not very accurate. Instead I've been using SeaTest and Safilert (spelling) tests, they are much easier to use. I've also learned that there is LOTS of salt in salt water, nearly 4 to 5 cups of salt per 10 gal of RO/DI water to get to a SG of 1.024-1.026 using Instant Ocean (IO). Once you get the SG where you want it, you need to add enough buffer to get the water nice and hard (KH wise) to resist the pH swings. LFS store told me to shoot for 15 dKH or 5 meq/L (make sure to know what your ALK test is reading!!!)

I also have learned that Arginite sand has some posphates in it and have a red algea bloom (acutally it's a bacteria called cyno) because of it. Even though the water doesn't show any hit of phosphates, the sand has them in there so the cyno is covering the sand. I'm going to get my skimmer up and running ASAP and I'm also going to get a product that my LFS recommended to help combat the "red slime" (I think they said phos guard but I don't remember, I'm going up there tonight to get some).

I hope this helps others!
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Rottielover
Ancient Member
Username: Rottielover

Post Number: 212
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Thursday, October 21, 2004 - 02:17 pm:       

Update:

I found out that astrea snails and cerith snails will eat red slime, so I placed an order on the internet to Keys Critters, I'm getting 100 cerith snails, 50 astrea snails, 6 scarlet hermits, 3 sea cucumbers. Hopefully they will chow down when I get them next tuesday, I'll post again and let you know how they do.

As far as the skimmer, I was given a LifeReef skimmer by a friend, and I sent the skimmer's cup to the manufaturer for a re-fit. They are going to sell me pump, valves, venturi, etc. all for about $100 to get get a $400 skimmer working, YEA! I should have the parts back mid to end of next week, so I hope to get the skimmer running the same day I get the parts.

So far I have: 1 Foxface, 3 perc clowns, 1 bi-color psudochromi, 3 blue-green reef chromis, 1 diamond watchman goby, about 20 blue legged hermits, 6 or so red legged hermits, 2 astrea snails, 1 mexican turbo snail, 4 green emerald crabs, 1 maxima clam, and one hocky puck sized rock with green star polups...

The GSP (green star polups) have been in there 4 days now, for the first 2 1/2 days they were open and seemed to be doing well, then they closed up when I got this little white specs floating in the water. I think this is a "pod bloom", the pods are free swimming when young and some have said they will crawl on corals and fish and it bothers them. I think that is maybe why the GSP closed up, they are waiting out the pod bloom. The fish seem pretty much to ignore it, but I do seem them "shimmy" now and then to shake one off. The first time I had a pod bloom I had no idea what it was and thought that I was having a "snowstorm"(when calcium and alk precipitate out because of adding way to much of one or the other). I figured it out because a few days after the first bloom I could see hundreds of thousands of pods running around on my sand. I hope to see when I get home from work tonight that the water has cleared up (pods settled out).

I'm also optimistic about my wife's clam. Most on the internet say you MUST have MH light to keep a clam and most SPS's. However then I found a "subculure" of people out there keeping clams and SPS under PC lights, and even VHO lights! It mostly depends on spectrum and intensity. My power compacts are 65 watts each and I have 8 total bulbs, but I looked at some specs on the bulbs and it turns out they have a very high PAR value (this is a mesure of how much light is usable for photosynthisis), meaning that these 65watt bulbs have the equivilancy of more like 95 watt bulbs... As you can see the watt per gal rule of thumb is out the window with reef tanks!

The clam is sitting on the bottom sand and seems to be happy right now, I'm keeping a very close eye on him though!

I'll try to update this thread, let you know how things are going and what else I've learned ;)

I'll try to get some pics going too!
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Heather
Moderator
Username: Heather_sanders

Post Number: 1570
Registered: 01-2003
Posted on Thursday, October 21, 2004 - 06:35 pm:       

Way to go on that skimmer, what a deal!
55 Gallon Community, 40 Gallon Reef, 30 Gallon Planted, 20 Gallon Planted, 5 Gallon Shrimp Tank
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Rottielover
Ancient Member
Username: Rottielover

Post Number: 216
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Friday, October 22, 2004 - 10:43 am:       

Setup
Tank durring setup

b4cyno
Tank just a day or two before the major cyno outbreak

Current tank
Current state of the tank



My wife's maxima clam
Clam
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Rottielover
Ancient Member
Username: Rottielover

Post Number: 217
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Friday, October 22, 2004 - 10:44 am:       

Man... I have got to learn this image edit software better! I end up cutting the pic's up so bad to fit withint 640x480 and low file size that they end up looking horrible.
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Heather
Moderator
Username: Heather_sanders

Post Number: 1571
Registered: 01-2003
Posted on Friday, October 22, 2004 - 11:49 am:       

Well, besides the cyano, everything looks pretty! The maxima is a gorgeous color. I can't remember if you told me what brand overflow box you are using but I like dual action you have. Very sleek looking with the black silicone edge on the tank, puts it all together I think.
What's the dimensions on the display? Is it long in the height like 30" or so? Easy to reach the bottom?
55 Gallon Community, 40 Gallon Reef, 30 Gallon Planted, 20 Gallon Planted, 5 Gallon Shrimp Tank
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cindy
Moderator
Username: Cindy_m

Post Number: 4600
Registered: 05-2003
Posted on Friday, October 22, 2004 - 11:58 am:       

"Wife"?...

Whoops! I always thought you were a young woman, Rottielover, about Gopi's age or maybe early 20's...




Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement.
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Rottielover
Ancient Member
Username: Rottielover

Post Number: 219
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Friday, October 22, 2004 - 01:05 pm:       

Tank is 60" long 18" wide and 24" deep, I can reach the bottom fairly easily by removing one light strip, (6 foot tall)...

Yep I'm male , 25 years old, be 26 in march
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Rottielover
Ancient Member
Username: Rottielover

Post Number: 220
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Friday, October 22, 2004 - 01:08 pm:       

Opps, forgot...

The overflow is a CPR CS102 1200gph

Link:

http://www.marinedepot.com/md_viewItem.asp?idproduct=CR1517

It's plumbed to an Oceanic model II "reef ready" sump (it's a 30 gal fish tank with a baffel. I modified it by adding a pane of glass with silicon to make the mud area, you can barely see the bottom part of the skimmer in the "clean" water area. I'm going to have the top glass cut to let the skimmer cup fit, and I'm going to place egg crate to hold the glass up and keep it from falling in.

Currently there is about 80 or 90 lbs of LR in there, with the rest (total of 130 lbs) in tubs curing.
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Rottielover
Ancient Member
Username: Rottielover

Post Number: 235
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Friday, October 29, 2004 - 12:04 pm:       

Update time again ;)

I'm going to take some pic's tonight so you all can see the "completed" setup, I finally got all the LR cured and into the tank.

The skimmer has been out of commision for longer than I anticipated, and the parts are "on truck for delivery" as I type this post. The Cyno outbreak has taken over everything, and I've taken to using a soft toothbrush to lightly scrape it off of some of the coriline algea to keep it from dying off. Once I get the skimmer up and running and pulling nasty out of the water, I plan to do a major cleaning with that toothbrush!

I also learned another important lesson this week, water flow....

Due to the cyno, I had placed an extra floss bag full of carbon into the sump, right next to the intake for the return pump, well it got sucked up and throttled back the flow to nearly nothing. I also cut and added filter floss to the power head intakes. Within 1 day this all combined to bring the water flow in my tank down to nearly nothing... When I got home that night from work, it was very, nasy looking in there.

I cut the floss off the powerheads, removed the blocking bag from the return pump and YUCK! did that water kick up some nasty stuff.

Fortunatly the way I have my sump setup with it's baffles it acts as a settling tank, allowing the solids to settle out of the water column before being pumped back up into the tank. Works great to keep the water clear, but it's heck on my back because I have to siphon out the sump alot.

If your going to setup a reef tank I can't recommend the sump setup enough, It makes it so much easier to perform water changes and maintence... this is what I do...

If I know that I'm going to be working on the sump for a long time I toss an extra 300W heater into the display (both of my heaters are in the sump). I have all the heaters and pumps that are in the the sump hooked into the same power strip, with one flick I can shutdown the sump and begin maintence. I then use my python to suck the water and crud out of the sump and down the drain. I can then use the python gain, this time hooked up to a mag pump in the bottom of my Brute trash cans to pump the pre-made salt water into the sump. Once the levels in the sump are high enough I flick the swich to start the pumps. Then I continue filling the sump to it's "operating level"...

I also highly recommend an RO/DI unit. I got my Kent Marine Maxxima RO/DI 24 gal per day unit on sale via the internet for around $250. It's been well worth it. I got the auto-shutoff kit (float valve) and the cleaning kit (allows rinsing of the RO membrane without taking the unit apart). I mounted the unit to the wall in my basement next to the water faucets for the washing machine, then I hooked the waste water line into the drain stand pipe, and the product water line to a 32gal Brute trash can. I have now added another 32 gal and a 44 gal brute. The first can is used for RO/DI product water only, that water is then pumped into the other two trash cans as needed. I used the 44 gal for my "curing tub" for the LR, and now I cleaned it out and use it for mixing saltwater. The other 32 gal can is used to make FW for my 75gal Angel tank.

Between the tank, sump, hoses, etc I figure I have between 130 to 140 gal of water in the system at any one time. This is dispite the rock taking up so much space!

I'll get some pics of the skimmer/ sump setup as well once I get everything hooked up and running.

More to follow!
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Rottielover
Regular Member
Username: Rottielover

Post Number: 251
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Thursday, November 11, 2004 - 12:41 pm:       

Sorry for the delay folks, user account troubls ;)

Anyway the LATEST UPDATE is here lol...

OK the tank is nearing the 6 month mark, I've finally won the fight against the cyno, it's not 100% gone, but I've eliminated 99% of it, the only remaining hint is on the sand in one spot... It ended up that I really needed to just wait it out, and let the skimmer do it's job.

The clam isn't doing well at all, and will probably be dead by the time I get home from work today. Orginally the clam was placed on the sand bend per my LFS stores instructions... but then I did reading on the internet. I went with some advice to place the clam on a 1/2 shell so that it could attach to the shell and be moved around, and to bowl feed the clam. After I placed the clam on the sand he started to grow his threads within 1 day and seemed happy, but I moved him on to the shell. After that he dropped his threads off and never did attach. Bowl feedings kept him alive but he was never happy and kept jumping off the shell, or just laying over on his side. Well I neglected to look at the tank for about 24 period and he must have been laying over that whole time, because by the time I got to him he was already receeding into his shell...

So my advice is to take the "experts" with a grain of salt, what worked for them may not work for you. If there's a next time with a clam I'm going to put him on the sand and let him be happy.

Green algea growth has exploded in the tank, along with coriline algea growth, there are "dots" of coriline algea all over the glass and powerheads, I've very happy about that. I purchased a "lawn mower blenny" to help deal with the green algea, and he's doing a real bang up job. Within 3 days my powerheads were cleaned off!

I figure in the next few weeks after the coriline "dots" on the glass get to about the size of a dime, I'm going to start looking to add corals to my tank. Eveyone claims you "MUST HAVE" MH lights to keep SPS and clams, but as I said, my clam was much happier on the bottom of the tank than up on the rocks on his shell.

I'm using Orbit Power Compact strips with SunPaq lamps. I have a total of 8 65watt bulbs over the tank... One day I'm going to have to get my hands on a PAR meter and PROVE that my tank is very bright!!!!

More to come later, I need to work on pic's to get them the right size to post for you all!
It's not the size of the dog in the fight... It's the size of the fight in the dog! -unknown
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Rottielover
Regular Member
Username: Rottielover

Post Number: 255
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - 04:32 pm:       

Quick update.

I have two pics, one showing the sump setup and the other is my Lawn Mower Blenny, sitting in his favorite spot, looking down on all the rest of the reef (on top of a powerhead).

Blenny

sump
It's not the size of the dog in the fight... It's the size of the fight in the dog! -unknown
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Rottielover
Regular Member
Username: Rottielover

Post Number: 257
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Wednesday, November 17, 2004 - 01:59 pm:       

OK, finally a another full tank progress shot...

You can see that all the cyno is gone, and that some green algea has started to grow, but is being pretty well kept in check by my cleaning crew of crabs, snails, fish etc.

curtank

The purple stuff is corline algea, and it's really started to take off (it's a good thing to have so I'm very happy about this). You can see a couple of the green chromis in the center, and the yellow "fox-face" in the right corner. Harder to spot is the green star polup "skull", the yellow polups and the two Bubble Tip anenome's! I'll post locations down farther in case you want to play "where is waldo" :-)

I did lose a green emerald crab (had 4 down to 3) no idea why, just was dead one day, the others are doing fine. It's finally starting to look like a reef tank!!! Quick note, the rubble pile on the left side of the tank is my "pod pile". I got that idea off the internet, it provides a "safe place" for the pods to grow and reproduce so that they can spread out and get eaten by the maderan fish later ;)







Locations....

GSP SKull, Top of rocks right hand side next to glass looks like a purple blob
Yellow Polups - on the photo look 1 inch to the right of the mag-float glass scrapper and thermometer.

BTA 1 - Under the mag-float and 1/2inch to the right under the rock overhang, very hard to make out in the pic. Also there is our Maroon Clown fish, you can barely make out a spot of yellow stripe in the anenome!

BTA 2 - Look at the rock at the center bottom, then look 1 inch right to the huge purple rock, under that rock is a little cave (near the foxface) the anenome is "sorta" visible.
It's not the size of the dog in the fight... It's the size of the fight in the dog! -unknown
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Rottielover
Regular Member
Username: Rottielover

Post Number: 258
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Wednesday, November 17, 2004 - 02:01 pm:       

I'm planning to get some zoe's for christmas. They are a kind of polup soft coral. There is a guy here in St. Louis that runs his own website selling them, and I'm going to call and make an appointment to pickup some of his "frag packs"... Now I just have to get the wife to give up the checkbook ;)
It's not the size of the dog in the fight... It's the size of the fight in the dog! -unknown
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Rottielover
Regular Member
Username: Rottielover

Post Number: 259
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Sunday, November 21, 2004 - 05:52 pm:       

I think this might be a little better pic of the tank...

fulltank
It's not the size of the dog in the fight... It's the size of the fight in the dog! -unknown
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Rottielover
Regular Member
Username: Rottielover

Post Number: 272
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Tuesday, November 30, 2004 - 04:10 pm:       

Quick Update,

I finally purchased a "close up" lense for my digital camera, and I hope to start posting some close-ups of various items in the tank, previously it was impossible to focus on them close up, now I hope with this lense I can get really nice shots ;)


It's not the size of the dog in the fight... It's the size of the fight in the dog! -unknown
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Rottielover
Regular Member
Username: Rottielover

Post Number: 273
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Wednesday, December 01, 2004 - 01:20 pm:       

Pic's as promised...

Lawn Mower Blenny
Blenny
Coriline Algea on Glass and Overflow
Coriline Algea dots on glass and overflow
Bubble algea (my green crabs better get a move on)
Some Bubble type algea that needs to be eaten
Growth of my GSP colony near the base
Growth at the base of my GSP colony
Red Sponge that hitchhiked on the live rock
Red Sponge that was on the Live Rock
SPS coral that I'm trying to ID
an SPS coral I'm trying to ID
Yellow Pollups w/ Maroon Clown Fish in the corner
Close up on Yellow Polups
It's not the size of the dog in the fight... It's the size of the fight in the dog! -unknown
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Rottielover
Regular Member
Username: Rottielover

Post Number: 293
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Friday, December 10, 2004 - 05:25 pm:       

I thought it time for another update :-)

The "green bubble algea" above was actually a Monjono (spelling?) anenome a PEST... I mixed up some kalkwasser poweder with some RO/DI water to make a think almost paste and squirted him with a plastic syringe. He was gone the next day! (good technique also works to get rid of "glass anenome's aipasta(sp?).

I'm not sure if I ever updated my fish list...

3 green chromis - Original fish still kick'n

1 maroon clown - all other clowns died see first post in this thread

1 Foxface Lo - He's the yellow fish doing well

1 blue neon goby - a "cleaner" species, it's fun to watch him "clean" the other fish

1 diamond watchman goby - the original went "carpet surfing" one day when I left the top off the tank for a while

1 Lawnmower blenny - a very good algea eater

1 Bicolor Psudochromi - a bit agressive sometimes, but he's very cool to watch The foxface put's him in his place a lot ;)

1 Powder Blue Tang - Awsome fish I really like him, beware, lots of people on the internet warn they are "ich magnets" care must be taken to insure your tank is ready for a tang

If I missed any of my fishies, I apologize to them it's getting late in the work day and I'm trying to post before I get caught at work LOL


One thing I noticed about this thread is that you should scroll through and look at the Full tank pic where it's nearly all "red" or rust colored then look at the recent full tank pics, you notice how that Skimmer helped to wipe out that red slime!!!

My LFS has a sale on cleaner shrimp, and I plan to pick a couple up to help out with my over feeding... Seems no matter what I do to try and feed less, I always end up dumping in way too much food, I think it's my fat fingers ;)

Maintenance, Maintenance, Maintenance!!!! If there is one thing I knew I should be doing it's keeping up with Maintenance! I got a little lax on it, and now the cyno is back, this time it's Green! (comes in Red, Green, and Brown)...

Water changes, change the carbon, clean the skimmer real good, and it's going away again! If there is one mistake you learn from me, please let it be that you need to keep up with your tank, if you don't bad things (algea's) start to take over!

I'll try and get some more pictures going!!!!

Check back soon!
It's not the size of the dog in the fight... It's the size of the fight in the dog! -unknown
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Diane
Regular Member
Username: Snowball

Post Number: 125
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Monday, December 13, 2004 - 11:42 am:       

Thanks for taking the time to post all your experiences-very interesting.
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Rottielover
Regular Member
Username: Rottielover

Post Number: 320
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - 11:11 am:       

I hope people are finding this thread useful...

In that spirit he's another update!

I've discoved that many people have hair algea problems when using instant ocean salt (IO). No one seems to have any concrete answer on this, and IO is widely avalible and not too pricy. However, one of my LFS's sells Coralife salt on sale a lot, so I'm switching back to it. I had started my tank with this salt, and then had switched to IO, but with the LFS sales every few months on the coralife it's actually cheaper salt mix. They use this salt for all the tanks in the store, and I haven't heard many bad things about this salt.

Full Tank shot
Full Tank

I have several corals now, one type of SPS coral that I got free when I joined a local club. One of my powerheads fell and broke the coral off at the base, so I re-glued it to another rock, and left the original rock in place. Some people seem to think that corals are extremely delicate, and in some cases they are, but NEVER give up!

Here is a pic of the base that was broken off just two weeks later, as you can see it's regrowing!
Base

I also wanted to show off my two Bubble Tip Anenome's (BTA), I got one mail order and the other I purchased with a maroon clown at a LFS. Both are doing well, but the one from the LFS is bigger.

Big BTA (top left of tank)
Big Anenome

Smaller one (lower right of tank)
Smaller


In smaller tanks (remember this tank is 125 gallons) you'd probly only want one anenome, and BTA's are considered the easiest of avalible types of anenome, though all should be considered difficult to care for.

Here is a close up shot of the tenticals on the larger BTA
Tenticals

Lastly here is a shot I'm proud I was able to take. This is a Blue Neon Goby, he's a cleaner species and is sometimes seen eating parasites off the sides of my other fish (not that I have an outbrake of ich, just that fish usually have some parasites you can't see with the naked eye). He's a cool little fish, and doesn't stay still much to get his picture taken!
Neon



In my algea battle that has been raging the last few weeks, I purchased and setup a "phosban reactor" and some phosban media. This is basically to soak up any phosphate that is in the water. Phosphate finds it's way into your tank mostly in the form of fish food (it can come in with water too, but I use RO/DI water). Between the algea eating fish and the phosban the hair algea has been kept from spreading, but I'm still working on getting the bulk of it out of my tank.

I've also had a small recurrance of red slime, about a 5inch by 5inch section of the sand is covered in a light film of red slime. I'm going to siphon this off tonight and cross my fingers that a stray peice of rotting food was the curlprit.

I've also rented a fish trap from my LFS to catch the psudochromi, he's a big bully, and eats shrimps (like cleaner shrimp). The LFS is going to take him back for 1/2 what I paid in store creidt. I'm planning on replacing him with a Royal Gramma. See, when we purchased the psudo, I thought I was getting a gramma, and that was back before I had done much of my research. The royal and psudo look similar (purple head, yellow tail) but the royal has an area where the colors blend a bit. Royal's are peaceful and will get along with the other inhabitants, where the psudo is very teritoral and likes to bully his other tank mates.

If anyone has any questions please feel free to post here, I'll try to answer them as best I can.
It's not the size of the dog in the fight... It's the size of the fight in the dog! -unknown
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Kayla Griffin
New Member
Username: Kaylagriffin

Post Number: 2
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 12:01 am:       

I just wanted to say thank you for posting this thread and sharing your experiences with us. I have learned a lot by reading your posts. Also, great job on getting the pics a little clearer. They are looking great!

Best wishes,
Kayla Griffin
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Rottielover
Regular Member
Username: Rottielover

Post Number: 328
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 05:31 pm:       

WOW, I'm glad to hear that I might be helping out!

Quick update...

I caught the psudo chromi and he's at the LFS awaiting transport to his new domain...

We added a Purple Tang to our tank, and when we did the Powder Blue Tang attacked him ACK!

So I did probly the DUMBEST thing I've ever done...

Quick background - I found out that it's really hard to find a good specimin of the Powder Blue Tang that eat's ok, doesn't get sick all the time with ich....

I returned the powder to the LFS! duh! Fortunatly the owner of the local store allowed me to buy back the same fish (the very next day I might add)....


See what I should have done was caught the powder and put him in my sump for a while. Tangs get territoral, and if you are going to add another one you MUST move all your rock around so that the tank is like a new tank.

Fortunatly for me, when I re-added the Powder to the tank, him and Purple are now best friends!

I'm soooo happy about this as they are both very beautiful fish.

I'll try and get some pics as soon as I can.



So to sum up, if you want a powder color'd tang (blue, brown), watch them carefully at your fish store, ask the sales person to feed them so you can watch them eat. Make sure they are not "flashing" or scratching on the rocks. If they are healthy and happy and eating it's probly a good specimin, but remember they need very good water quality.

Also, Tangs get territoral after a few short days, it's best when purchasing tangs that you get them all at once. If that's not possible you'll need to re-arrange your tank after you add each one!

I'm working on getting something written up about water quality....
It's not the size of the dog in the fight... It's the size of the fight in the dog! -unknown
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E. Wilson Jr
Regular Member
Username: Fishfrenzy

Post Number: 121
Registered: 05-2004
Posted on Saturday, January 29, 2005 - 02:45 am:       

WOW HOLY (^@*%&%#, I can't believe I just read all that!!! BTW I LOVE THE TANK!! it very nice looking. I have a few questions.

1. How did you stack the rocks so they dont fall over?? did you glue them in anyway? if so how?

2. How do you attach corals/anemone's etc to the live rock?

and 3rd. I think with that whole R.O system, and sump system and other plumbing stuff, and seeing how much trouble your still having with algae etc, I just think I just made up my mind to make my 75g a FW cichlid tank. Theres NOOO WAAAAY i could afford all that plumbing stuff/R.O stuff and set it up in my apartment which I am only renting! Damn I was really hoping it would be easy to take care of a 75 SW tank and not have any algae/water issues. Oh well........ if you have any info/advice for me please lemme know!! Thanks.... BTW, I envy you. lol
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Rottielover
Regular Member
Username: Rottielover

Post Number: 329
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Tuesday, February 01, 2005 - 11:28 am:       

LOL, please don't envy me, that makes me feel bad for some reason... BTW, I'm sorry about not being around here more, family issues lately...

Anyway...

1) I just stacked the rock up, set one piece on the other. When you get the LR you'll notice that it's pretty much like a puzzle, that you can put together in all kinds of differant ways. No glue required. One thing that helped me was to jump up and down in front of the tank while stacking, if there was a rock slide, I knew to re-arrange.

2) Most of the corals I've purchased have been on small rocks already attached. I simply placed them on top of the existing rocks. If you get any frags you can use Gel superglue (ZAP makes a good one). You glue them on, and the glue hardens under water. Anemone's are a different story, they move around and find a "happy place" of thier own in the tank. You can't really attach them someplace, as they will attach themselves. Both of mine came unattached to anything, so I gently placed them on my rock, in a area of the tank I thought they would like. Then they moved to where they wanted to be on thier own and attached themselves.

3) Actually the RO/DI unit was about $200 bucks, $300 total with the float valves trash cans etc. The sump I got on clearance from a LFS, and the PVC pipes and hose fittings are cheap at the local Home Depot / Lowes. You just need to practice on some PVC before trying to do it for your tank, it's not really that hard.

Actually, the algea problems I've been having were my own fault, me being dumb.... let me explain (Lurkers good read comming up!)

My Algea issues, and how to resolve them...

First off, I had reused a Rena Filstar XP2 canister filter to run my UV. Only thing was I forgot to remove all the media from the cansiter, and it's been building up funkyness for 6 months! I removed the media in the cansiter, and cleaned it out really well. Remember in a reef tank your skimmer/macro algea/Live Rock *ARE* your filters. You only need media in the cansiter (if you even have a canister) when you want to "polish" the water up. See, the canister filter was breaking down all this nasty stuff in Nitrate, and that's what is fueling my algea... That whole time bomb thing again, everything I was doing to get rid of my algea was just prolonging the explosion from the canister build up. (Hair algea bloom)

Remember the brown diatoms and red slime are a natural progression for a reef tank, as yet, I have not met anyone that has completely avoided these "problem" algea's, but when your system is setup properly, you can easily correct it.


Actually if you wanted to go FO (fish only) or FOWLR (fish with live rock) your 75 would just need one of the nicer HOB skimmers (remora pro). Remember you can always "move" to Reef later. There are many people that run "sumpless" tanks. The sump just makes it easier to hide all the equipment so that you can have more room for stuff in the tank.

Another thing I did wrong, too small a return pump from the sump. I had a Mag 9.5 (950 gph) pump at 0 feet of head. Well, push that water up 5 feet and thru a few 90 degree bends and that output from the pump into the tank is more like 600 GPH, NOT NEAR enough..

SO since my overflow can handle 1400 GPH I upgraded my sump return pump to a Mag 18 (1800 GPH). So by the time it get's into the tank I'm getting about 1400 GPH flow thru. I've also removed some extra misc. crud. My sump came with a bioballs box, that I never put anything into, and when I took it out I found a pile of detrius 1/2" deep in that part of the sump that I had never known was there! Siphoned that out real quick! Also another fuel source for the algea.


OK adice

Knowning what I know now, and seeing the fish avalible for saltwater I can never imagine going back to any FW fish ever. Even the africans, they just arn't as colorful. (sorry to all my FW friends out there, I still like you guys!)

Since your in an apartment, I would seek out the LFS's that specialize in SW, and find out what their prices are for RO or DI water. Most of these stores will sell you water in 5 gal containers. At my LFS I see lots of people go in with 2 or more 5 gal gas cans (new never used of course) to buy water. Heck, my LFS will even sell the water that comes out of thier HUGE sump (runs all the tanks), so you don't have to mix anything, you have ready to go saltwater.

Really if your have everything you need for a FW tank, your almost there for SW, just need a skimmer!.

Anyway I can tell this post is getting book-sized, so I'll stop this one and when I think of something else I'll post again!
It's not the size of the dog in the fight... It's the size of the fight in the dog! -unknown
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Jessica
Moderator
Username: Lady_jai

Post Number: 4042
Registered: 07-2003
Posted on Tuesday, February 01, 2005 - 11:37 am:       

well i suppose if all you want is color from a fish... Find me a saltwater loach, and I might convert . I wouldn't trade my sids for all the saltwater fish in the world.

I also dont know about most of the country, but around here, it is more expensive to buy from the LFS, 50cents a gallon, while instead you can visit a water store and get it for 30cents/gallon, or visit different water machines and water kiosks, you can get it for 15-25cents/gallon. I know I've seen a water kiosk in Sioux City, so other parts of the country can get them as well.
Walk softly, carry a big sword...
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Rottielover
Regular Member
Username: Rottielover

Post Number: 332
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Tuesday, February 01, 2005 - 12:10 pm:       

Oh Jessica....

Let me get some pics of my powder blue tang, my purple tang, and my maroon clown and see what you say ;) lol

Seriously though, you bring up a very good point, if the LFS charges too much most grocery stores have "water kiosks" where you can get RO water cheap! Just take in your containers, ignore stares, and fill up!

I know a lot of people with "nano" tanks that use bottled water too.
It's not the size of the dog in the fight... It's the size of the fight in the dog! -unknown
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Heather
Moderator
Username: Heather_sanders

Post Number: 1598
Registered: 01-2003
Posted on Tuesday, February 01, 2005 - 04:07 pm:       

Rottie, let me know if you're maroon clown starts digging up your sand and rearranging your corals, seems like a lot of these boogers do that. Mine takes it's tail fin and wags it into the sand creating a dust storm like I've never seen before, covering up all of my bottom sitting corals. That's the only fish I'm actually looking forward to departing with! :-)
Nice to hear your tank is giving you much joy. Looking good too.



Talk about fishless cycling, I'm just plain fishless!
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Rottielover
Regular Member
Username: Rottielover

Post Number: 333
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Tuesday, February 01, 2005 - 06:14 pm:       

Hey Heather,

So far *knock on wood* my maroon hasn't done that. He's pretty happy hosting his two anenome's most of the day, till feeding time that is.

I don't have any corals directly on the sand right now, save for the Hammer frag I picked up, but this particular frag had a very long think skeleton at the bottom, so I "planted" him in the sand like a miniature tree, and the polups are far enough off the sand (2-4") that the diamond watchman goby can't cover him up. It's possibly a frogspawn, I haven't taken the time to properly ID it yet.

Well I have yet to post my latest update....

Tank isn't looking real "hot" right now (to me anyway. After re-arranging all the rocks most of the pretty purple corilian algea got moved around and the rocks are looking a bit bare. I'm just going to have to have some will power and wait for my zoanthid frags to grow...

I've added 6 different color's of zoa's so far, two from LFS's and 4 from a guy in my area I "met" on Reefcentral. I got a good deal from him on those too ;) .

I'm still working on a "water quality" write up, I hope to have someting similar to my "betta care" write up sometime soon.

Hopefully in the next week or two I'll have some time to get some nice pictures, things have just been sooo crazy for me lately!
It's not the size of the dog in the fight... It's the size of the fight in the dog! -unknown
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Heather
Moderator
Username: Heather_sanders

Post Number: 1599
Registered: 01-2003
Posted on Tuesday, February 01, 2005 - 08:25 pm:       

Can you post a close up of your hammer? I don't want to interrupt your pictures with a picture of my own so I'll post you a picture of my hammer down in the picture post section so you can compare the two.

(Message edited by heather_sanders on February 01, 2005)



Talk about fishless cycling, I'm just plain fishless!
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Rottielover
Regular Member
Username: Rottielover

Post Number: 337
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Friday, February 04, 2005 - 01:48 pm:       

Quick Update to say I'm postponing updates for a week!

I have on order new lights (Hamilton Tech 5' Prostar fixture with 3 x 250 watt MH DE HQI 14K lights and 2 x 96 watt PC's), I've also sold my Orbit PC lights to another interested party in my area.

So I'm delaying any more pics until after the new lights are installed!
It's not the size of the dog in the fight... It's the size of the fight in the dog! -unknown
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Rottielover
Regular Member
Username: Rottielover

Post Number: 342
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Tuesday, March 01, 2005 - 06:29 pm:       

While trying to post this, I keep getting random pics that will show, and ones that won't, you may have to re-load this page to get all the pics for some reason....sorry


Drumroll please............................

Wide shot of new lights +tank



FullTank
FullTank

RedBrain Coral


Ricordia


Red Mushrooms


Close up on the Mushrooms


Powder Blue Tang


Powder with is Purple Tang Buddy


The BigFish (powder, purple and Foxface Lo)


Xenia Frag I got


New Clam (Coreca sp?)



Yellow Acropora Frag


Various Zoanthid Frags







Tank's doing pretty well finally!!!
It's not the size of the dog in the fight... It's the size of the fight in the dog! -unknown
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Erin
Regular Member
Username: Shay

Post Number: 561
Registered: 04-2004
Posted on Tuesday, March 01, 2005 - 09:18 pm:       

Very helpful Rottie. I have a few questions related to lighting. When and why did you decide to upgrade the lighting? Did you decide that the lighting you had was not enough for the clams ultimately? Do you think you would have been better off starting with the hamilton lighting?

Also, did you start the tank with live sand?

Thanks for the help.

Erin
Green Days. Deep deep in the sea. Cool and quiet fish. That's me. - Dr. Seuss
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Rottielover
Regular Member
Username: Rottielover

Post Number: 344
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Wednesday, March 02, 2005 - 02:27 pm:       

I decided to upgrade the lighting a couple months back really, when my wife started saying she liked the clams and SPS corals. The SPS's and a Clam did live under the PC lights, but the SPS's turned brown and didn't maintain the bright colors. While PC lighting *IS* "bright", it's not intense like MH lighting, it's diffuse and "spread out" over the length of the tubes, where the MH is a "point" light source... That and my wife liked the look of the "glitter lines" more :-) Looking back on things, had I made a decision to keep the tank a "softie / LPS" tank the PC's would have been great!, But since I wanted the more light loving animals I "bit the bullet" and purchased the Hamilton.

Actually no, the sand I purchased "dry" from my LFS as just "araginte sand", they had "live sand" which was the SAME product only "wet" and claimed to have bacteria on it. I opted for the dry sand, and I put in some live rock right away. It only took a few days to a couple weeks before I started seeing creatures in/on the sand, so it doesn't take very long for the sand to become "live" via migration of the things living in/on the live rock..

Hope that helps!
It's not the size of the dog in the fight... It's the size of the fight in the dog! -unknown
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Rottielover
Regular Member
Username: Rottielover

Post Number: 366
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Friday, March 11, 2005 - 11:25 am:       

ARG! I HATE ICH!

My poweder blue tang had a few spots on him a couple days ago, so I started feeding medicated food. But even those few spots were too much for him, he died :-(

I've decided not to replace him, I"m going to keep the fish load low, while I'm still getting rid of the remaining Hair Algea.

Other than that the tank is finally about where I want it. And I'm about ready to start fragging some corals !

So, this will be my last update to this thread, and I hope I have included enough info to be usefull to those wanted to start a SW reef tank.

My next project has already started... I've sold off all my fish and plants in my 75 gal planted display (in my living room) and I've alread started the conversion over to SW. So far I've cleaned the tank and replaced the gravel with Araginite sand. I also purchased a HOB Remora Pro skimmer from AquaC. The only problem now is that I cannot raise the hood lid past 30 degrees or so without the back hitting the skimmer, guess I'm going to have to put a sump in after all!

If there is interest I may start a thread on that tank as well.
It's not the size of the dog in the fight... It's the size of the fight in the dog! -unknown
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Ricky *Confidential*
New Member
Username: Ricky

Post Number: 6
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Friday, March 11, 2005 - 07:16 pm:       

In one of your photos I thought I saw a royal dottyback but im not sure! Anyways its a very pretty tank!
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Rottielover
Regular Member
Username: Rottielover

Post Number: 367
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Sunday, March 13, 2005 - 11:55 pm:       

Yep, your correct AKA bicolor psudochromis

We actually used a fish trap a few month back and returned him to the LFS and replaced him with a Royal Gramma. The Gramma is much more peaceful than the psudo, the psudo was down right MEAN!
It's not the size of the dog in the fight... It's the size of the fight in the dog! -unknown
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Diane
Regular Member
Username: Snowball

Post Number: 372
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Monday, March 14, 2005 - 07:16 am:       

It's wonderful Rottie, so beautiful. I'd love to follow you through another tank.
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Karen Curry
Junior Member
Username: The_fish_fan

Post Number: 72
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Wednesday, March 16, 2005 - 12:57 am:       

BEAUTIFUL!!!!!

Just curious... what size tank?

~Karen~
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Rottielover
Regular Member
Username: Rottielover

Post Number: 369
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Wednesday, March 16, 2005 - 01:37 pm:       

Orginally I thought it was a 125 gal tank, because that's what the LFS I purchased it from said. Turns out it's really a 120 gal tank. I also have a sump on it to increase the ammount of water in the sysetm.
It's not the size of the dog in the fight... It's the size of the fight in the dog! -unknown
Badman's Tropical Fish - Archives * General Saltwater Questions * My experiances so far with my 125g (I hope this helps others)       

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