First SW ever owned...Build thread

Discussion in 'Show Off Your Fish Tanks!' started by Redd, Jan 27, 2016.

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  1. Redd

    Redd Astrea Snail

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2016
    Messages:
    74
    Hello, and thanks for stopping. Thanks also to those that have answered some of my questions thus far. I'm very glad to have registered on 3Reef! I feel that I have done a lot of research on my own to make these choices, especially for the equipment. I'm struggling a bit with the coral selection, but I realized that I will have time to nail that down. I'm always open to suggestion on these plus fish & Equip. I have no pictures right now, please bear with me. What say you?

    Equipment & Aquascape:
    Tank - Coralife 29g biocube
    Stand - DIY tank stand
    Lighting - Biocube stock (likely upgrading after a while)
    Skimmer - Hydor Slim Skim Nano
    Heater - Cobalt Aquatics Neo-Therm Heater 100W
    Return pump - Stock Biocube
    Wavermaker - Hydor Koralia Nano 425 (x2) (might only use one to start?)
    Filter Media - Active Carbon pellets and separate bag
    ATO - TUNZE Osmolator Nano 3152 Auto Top -*pre-owned Unit
    Salinity Meter - Standard swing arm hydrometer
    Thermometer - Hagen Glass mountable
    WQ testing - API Master Liquid Test Kit Saltwater
    Substrate - Caribsea Fuji Pink LS - 1 20lb bag
    Rock - ~20lbs Key Largo LR (off craigslist) & ~5lbs Fuii LR from the LFS

    Livestock Plan: (obviously not all at once, would love thought about selections)
    CUC:
    12 Nassarius snails
    8 Florida Ceriths
    16 dwarf Ceriths
    5 nerites

    Other Inverts:
    1 cleaner shrimp
    1 shortspine urchin (eventually, if I have enough algae going)

    Fish:
    sailfin/algae blenny
    orange spotted goby
    B/G reef Chromis (x2)
    Ocellaris clown

    Corals: (Adolescent stage of getting to know my corals, still have some time to finalize, plus stock lighting)
    Bullseye mushroom
    Lavender Mushroom
    Octo Frogspawn
    Green star poly
    green zoas
    sun coral

    I really want to have a lot of movement in the corals. To me, that's a big draw for me to start this hobby.
    I will also plan on hooking up into my own RO/DI system. Way too much upside not to get one installed. I'm really interested to hear you guidance on what filter media works for ya'll, as well.

    Thanks, Redd
     
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  3. PittsburghReefTank12

    PittsburghReefTank12 Flamingo Tongue

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2015
    Messages:
    118
    Sounds Like A Very Cool Tank! :)
     
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  4. civiccars2003

    civiccars2003 Great Blue Whale

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    Excellent start! I'd upgrade my lights and get a refractometer for sure (esp in a smaller tank). Well done. ;)
     
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  5. Redd

    Redd Astrea Snail

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2016
    Messages:
    74
    Thanks, guys. What do you think about this set-up relying on the skimmer, carbon and rock&sand for the biological filtration? I have been wondering about going for floss and Purigen...
     
  6. Jim Bonds

    Jim Bonds Spanish Shawl Nudibranch

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2015
    Messages:
    90
    Great start! Welcome to the biocube club. To answer your question, I run a skimmer, matrix and phosguard in a bag, and filter floss. I've got really clean water so I think you are good to go as long as you keep on top of the husbandry. In fact, my neighbors take my waste water from water changes and use it for their own changes. If you want to upgrade your filtration, look into the inTank media basket. It's pretty sweet and is my next purchase.

    A few thoughts for you. You stated you are getting an RO/DI system. Good for you! That's a must. While you are at it, ditch the swing arm hydrometer and pick up a refractometer. Just an opinion but swing arms can be negatively affected by salt creep and such.

    While not really necessary, you may consider replacing the return pump with an MJ1200. It's a lot quieter and more efficient. Then you can use the stock pump to make your water changes easier.

    As suggested above, you'll probably want to upgrade your lighting at some point. You're probably ok for a while but those stock lights aren't really sufficient for some corals. The corals you have now should be fine though. Check out rapidled.com for conversion kits for your Biocube hood.

    My last note for you would be about the clean up crew. A lot of LFS and others recommend a large CUC. The problem is that many of them are going to starve to death because there isn't enough detritus or algae in your tank. What will happen is as CUC die off they'll add nutrients into your system causing more algae. Many people add more CUC to combat the algae, then some more will die and add more nutrients into the system. So you can see how things spiral out of hand. One major issue you'll have is that hermits you can feed with pellets but snails you can't. I'd recommend returning some snails to the LFS or giving them away to friends. Honestly, I only have 2 cerith, 2 trochus, and 1 astrea.

    When do we get pics?! I'm excited to see!
     
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  7. oldfishkeeper

    oldfishkeeper Giant Squid

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    Aug 13, 2012
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    7,660
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    Cincinnati
    sounds like you have a great plan and knowledge about what you need. I might suggest you rethink the chromis just because they tend to dwindle in numbers with no reason why. Since you'll be limited in the number of fish you can have, you may want to explore some other options. I know Live Aquaria I believe has a section on nano fish so you can check out some options there. Algae blennies typically need to have a good amount of algae to survive so you may want to look at adding one of those later down the road.
     
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  9. Redd

    Redd Astrea Snail

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2016
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    Those are solid points Jim. Thank you for taking that time to share.
    You might hate me for posting so early, Jim, but I don't have ANY of this stuff yet. Most of the equipment has been ordered. Should have been here by now, but Fosters royally screwed it up. I plan to have the tank up and cycling in about 9 days.

    I will definitely get a refractometer. Too many people have told me to get one, and salt creep is the best reason why.

    As far as the CUC, I've been reading hermits are more trouble than they're worth. If I were to do a crab-less crew, how many total snails listed above should I get?
     
  10. Redd

    Redd Astrea Snail

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2016
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    Yeah I was afraid someone was going to mention that about the blenny. It's such a cool fish, but after researching a bit more, I have to agree with you. Down the road at an appropriate time when algae becomes more prevalent. To many organisms of one feeding guild is a bad design. I can certainly take or leave the chromis, not real crazy about them anyways
     
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  11. oldfishkeeper

    oldfishkeeper Giant Squid

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    well, there you go :) there are so many cool fish out there - I really love flamehawks and midas blennies
     
  12. DSC reef

    DSC reef Giant Squid

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    When you go looking for a refractometer get one ATC, automatic temperature compensation. I have a red sea refractometer and love it and I urge you to get refractometer calibration fluid to keep it accurate. Also, I always keep a hydrometer on hand to double check that things are good. You've got a solid plan, put the Rodi unit as a priority with lighting being changed as well.
     
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