Scott's 50g Reef

sroot17

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Hello everyone.

I am new to the hobby and have started to dive right in with a 50g tank. My original plans were to go FOWLR but after months of research and reading the boards I've decided to try my luck with a reef setup.

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So far I have:
50g 36x18x18 tank
CPR aeroforce skimmer
TLF phosband reactor with live carbon media
1 Koralia 1050 PH
200w heater
Wave Point T5 HO light 156w
5lbs base rock
56lbs LR (50 fiji, 6 marshall island)

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I have had the tank setup and running for just about 3 weeks so far. I am using tap water currently treated with Marine stress coat. I plan on purchasing and RO/DI unit soon and hope I can find the room for it in my Manhattan apartment!
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I did have a piece of shrimp in the tank to help get the cycle moving but removed it after a week due to the smell being so bad.
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My last few readings were as follows:
6/12
Ammonia - 0
Nitrites - 0
Nitrates - 0

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6/18
Ammonia - .5
Nitrites - 2
Nitrates - 20

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6/20/10
Amm .25
Nitrite 2
Nitrate - 80

6/22/10

Amm 0-.25 (hard to tell but very close to zero)
Nitrite - .25
Nitrate – 80

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Over the past few weeks I have made a couple of attempts at aquascaping. I get my substrate today and can’t wait to get that in and start finalizing the layout! Here are some pictures so far.







 

masterswimmer

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Scott, nice start. Glad to see you've got your tank thread started here on MR.

Curious, what is that in the filter bag?

What type of sand did you pick up? When you add it, if you can get a piece of 2" pvc pipe about 20" long, pour the sand SLOWLY into the pipe, you'll be able to add sand without a sandstorm.

Another way to do it is to take the whole bag of sand and place it onto the tank bottom. Use a razor blade to SLOWLY cut open the whole length of the bag. Slowly let the sand drift out of the bag. Take your time and SLOWLY raise the bag a little at a time. BTW, did I mention SLOWLY enough? lol

Hopefully you'll have your sandbed in place with no sand storm at all.

Good luck with the tank and welcome to the world of reefing. That was one short lived FOWLR tank ;) :lol2:

Russ
 

anthony27

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The tank looks very nice you, will need to connect a power head to the carbon reactor but all looks good. IF you are going with sps try to make the rock high up so you have good growth.

Also you might want to add more flow into the tank.
 

sroot17

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Thanks Russ. The filter bag has some LR rubble in it that I did not want to throw away because it was loaded with coralline algae. After I lay out the sand bed I may place some of these around the tank, I put them in a filter bag so that it would not get in the way from all the stuff that was falling off of the rock.

As for the substrate, I went with the Caribsea Dry aragonite special reef grade sand. I was going to use a pint glass to slowly layer in the sand but the pvc pipe idea sounds even better!



QUOTE=masterswimmer;791717]Scott, nice start. Glad to see you've got your tank thread started here on MR.

Curious, what is that in the filter bag?

What type of sand did you pick up? When you add it, if you can get a piece of 2" pvc pipe about 20" long, pour the sand SLOWLY into the pipe, you'll be able to add sand without a sandstorm.

Another way to do it is to take the whole bag of sand and place it onto the tank bottom. Use a razor blade to SLOWLY cut open the whole length of the bag. Slowly let the sand drift out of the bag. Take your time and SLOWLY raise the bag a little at a time. BTW, did I mention SLOWLY enough? lol

Hopefully you'll have your sandbed in place with no sand storm at all.

Good luck with the tank and welcome to the world of reefing. That was one short lived FOWLR tank ;) :lol2:

Russ[/QUOTE]
 

sroot17

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I actually do have a minijet pump attached to the reactor which I forgot to include in my list.

As for the corals I think I'm going to stick with or at least start with soft and lps only since I do not have more than 200w or so of lighting. Do you think I could get away with some sps using my T5 if they are placed high enough in the tank?


The tank looks very nice you, will need to connect a power head to the carbon reactor but all looks good. IF you are going with sps try to make the rock high up so you have good growth.

Also you might want to add more flow into the tank.
 

masterswimmer

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you, will need to connect a power head to the carbon reactor but all looks good.

Anthony, The carbon reactor has two vinyl tubes sticking into the tank. The tube on the left has a minijet on it. The tube on the right is the return tube ;) Seems all is good with the flow for the reactor.

Russ
 

sroot17

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Updates pics

Updated pictures of my tank with new aquascape and substrate added. I'm really happy with the way everything has turned out. Also added a Vortech MP10 powerhead for some additional flow.

Ammonia and nitrites are at 0, nitrates are at 10. I do have some phosphates at .2 which I hope to get down through some water changes. Looking to hopefully add a CUC pretty soon and then start stocking!











 

masterswimmer

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Scott, looks really nice. Kudos on the setup. If that were my system, I would get a cuc and/or a fish in there very soon. Without having any source of waste, your bacterial colonies will diminish. Your cycle is complete and without any waste, which is food for the bacteria, there is nothing for them to 'eat', so they'll die off.

Again, congrats on bringing it this far. Looks great.

Russ
 

sroot17

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Added my CUC

My tank is going through its first algae bloom and I've finally added the first of my CUC.

15 assorted hermits
15 ceriths snails
15 nassarius snails

Probably going to add a couple of turbos and some nerite snails soon to finish off the crew. These guys seem to be settling in nicely and are eating up a ton of algae.

I hope to start stocking the tank in two weeks and will be starting off with a pair of clownfish.

Here are some updated pics!



 

sroot17

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Finally some fish!

Just a quick update.

Last week I added 3 mexican turbos and they have completely cleaned up my algae bloom. This week I finally added my first fish! I picked up 2 ora clown fish from my lfs, they seem to be settling in ok so far.

They do not seem too keen on exploring much of the tank, they seem to be hanging out at the sides and front of the glass. I hope they settle in more and start taking advantage of the all the hiding places and rock structure.

Water parameters all look good.
sg - 1.026
pH - 8.4
Amm, nitrite and nitrate all at 0

I will probably wait a couple of weeks and then look at possibly adding a gobie, blennie or a couple chromis.

I am also soon going to start working on initially raising my calcium and alk in preparation for some soft and lps corals. I'm not sure yet the best way to do this, information out there is very overwhelming and so many people seem to have differing opinions as to what types of supplements to use and how to maintain hardness and alkalinity.

I'm also playing around now with the timing of my powerheads. It is common to turn down the flow at night? The clownfish seem more at ease when the flow is reduced.

Will post some pics when my lights come on today.

cheers everyone
 

masterswimmer

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Hey Scott, I applaud your patience. Before you start dosing any Ca or Alk (or anything else for that matter), make sure you test the levels of that particular supplement. The last thing you want to do is increase levels of something that is at good levels already.

If you do find that dosing is appropriate, it's important to continue testing and not just dose a certain amount daily. In order to maintain a balance of your parameters, you need to dose magnesium in addition to calcium and alkalinity. Those three are essential to the balance of a well maintained system. ESV is one of the most well respected (if not the most well respected) line of additives in reefing.

Keep up the good work
Russ
 

sroot17

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New Pics

Here are a few pics of the tank and the two clown fish. Everyone is happy and readings look good. Going to pick up some calc/alk supplements soon.

sg- 1.024
Amm-0
Nitrite-0
Nitrate-0
pH-8.4
Alk - 9.0
Calc - 330

Anyone have any recommendations on what calcium additive I should use to raise my levels this first time?





 

masterswimmer

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Scott, the system is maturing very nicely.

I would use ESV B-Ionic for the initial, median, and long term dosing of calcium and eventually alkalinity. Don't forget magnesium. Those three elements work in harmony to achieve a balanced system. ESV has the best additives in the hobby, IMO.

Russ
 

JEvryDay

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Nice looking tank cant wait to see what type of fish you add to it. lookin for RODI system myself, to get my 55g tank started.
 

sroot17

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Well I guess Sundays have become my tank maintenance/testing days...

First time testing magnesium today.

temp-82.8 (ac is going on now!)
sg-1.024
Amm-0
No2-0
No3-0
pH-8.4
calc-345
alk-9.3 dkh
mag-1050

I just started daily doses of two part b-ionic solution and will start with mag does today.

I am looking for fish stocking ideas. My lfs claims I can get away with a yellow tang which I would love to have but am still hesitant, most of the info I read says a min of 75g is needed for them to live comfortably.

Looking at maybe getting a few pj cardinals, a gobie or maybe a spotted jawfish. I have also been toying with the idea of getting an anemone for the clowns, they just seem a little bored right now. I know anemones can be more difficult to care for but would really love it if I could get one to host these guys. Was looking at the bubble tip or carpet anemones as they seem to host false percs but I can't seem to convince myself that this is a wise decision.

I'm also just now reading up on the fall swap thats coming up in October. Im thinking about attending, its even at my old school!

Thats about it, hopefully my lfs will get some nice livestock in this week so I can pickup the next addition to my tank.
 

sroot17

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Testing today
pH - 8.4
Alk - 10.2
Calc - 345

I've been dosing with 15ml of each part B-ionic solution but my alk is the only thing rising. Should I stop dosing alk and up the calc dosage?
 

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