On my slow progress on building a 75g future Reef Tank =)

Discussion in 'I made this!' started by iLLaPiNo83, Dec 1, 2016.

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  1. iLLaPiNo83

    iLLaPiNo83 Astrea Snail

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    Here's my story =). Last 3 weeks ago i was planning on just building a small low-tech 10g freshwater planted tank just to save some dollars and have an aquarium in the house. I lost my 30 gallon saltwater tank years ago and decided recently to get back in the fish hobby. So i went to petsmart to buy a 10g tank and i was looking at the big gallon aquariums wishing i could pick one up instead. The sales person came up to me and said if I want, I could go back there at Black Friday because their tanks are gonna be on sale for 50% off. To cut the story short, I didn't get that 10g for a freshwater planted tank and instead got a 75g with stand and 20g sump.

    Right now I'm on a progress aquascaping the diy rocks I've made years ago. They've been cured and I'd like to show my progress here and hopefully get some critiques and advises. I'm taking this build slowly because i don't have enough money to spend on things right away, so this is going to be first fish only tank, then hopefully add some pretty nice corals once i get better lighting and equipment (the tank came with led light but i don't think its enough for growing corals).

    Here's my tank with ongoing aquascaping on the right side of the tank.


    I watched a bunch on how to videos on how to stack the rocks and I decided to just use a plastic rod I got from home depot and drill them. Also epoxied them together with waterweld to make them stronger.

    I'll post some pictures later and some videos of my build.
     

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  3. iLLaPiNo83

    iLLaPiNo83 Astrea Snail

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    Here's an update on my aquascape. I epoxied most of the rocks together and hopefully it will hold when its in water. I still gotta buy live sand and wait till I get my water pump. While waiting, I might add some more rocks in there, I still have a bunch of rocks laying here.


    I'm also looking for a cheap skimmer, and i came across a coralife protein skimmer. Has anyone got info on this skimmer?
     

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  4. DSC reef

    DSC reef Giant Squid

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    Looking good with the scape. I'd avoid the coralife skimmer, it's worthless. Look up SCA protien skimmers. There affordable and perform very well
     
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  5. Swisswiss

    Swisswiss Caribbean Reef Squid

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    very nice scape
     
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  6. iLLaPiNo83

    iLLaPiNo83 Astrea Snail

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    Thanks guys. As of right now, I added live sand and started to cycle my tank. I re plumbed my drains because it was making lots of bubbles and surges from my hob overflow. I minimized some bubbles from the drain by adding elbows and a tee just bellow the waterline of the sump.

    I still yet to buy a skimmer, I'll check that SCA skimmer out.

    The salt I used was Coralife Marine Salt Mix, with specific gravity of 1.024-1.025 using Coralife Deep Six hydrometer. I'm not sure about its accuracy and I plan to get a refractometer later on. I don't have a RO/DI system so I had to go to the water refill station 3 times to get water =((.

    What do you guys recommend on how I go about cycling my tank? Since its all dry rock and only live sand.

    No proper circulation yet in the tank =( just from the returns. Powered by Quiet Ones 3000

    I'll post some better pictures when I get a better camera.
     

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  7. Swisswiss

    Swisswiss Caribbean Reef Squid

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    lights on with the cycle you will have when you'll add live stock, and then you wait, wait and wait some more.... did you throw in some dead matter to start the cycle?

    once the cycle is over (dont know if you plan to test your water regularly and follow the cycle stages or if you're going to do like me and just let it sit there for 8 weeks) be sure to add live stock very slowly, I.E one or two (if you want to add mated pairs for example) fish per week, not more. this will give your beneficial bacteria a chance to adjust to the new bio-load present in the system.

    whats your fish wish list? we can help you in the order in which you should add them to your system.
     
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  9. iLLaPiNo83

    iLLaPiNo83 Astrea Snail

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    I didn't throw any dead matter to start the cycle. What do you recommend I should throw in there?

    I plan to check the water every maybe twice of once a week to see if there's any changes with the water.

    Here's my list for fishies I plan to add:
    -1 sixline wrasse (i just love this fish)
    -1 yellow tang
    -pair of clown fish
    -diamond goby or a yellow watchman goby with pistol shrimp
    -blue/green chromis (how many can i add?)

    And cleaner crews
     
  10. Swisswiss

    Swisswiss Caribbean Reef Squid

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    the common practice is to use a raw shrimp (frozen or fresh it does'nt matter... i would personally rinse under RO water though) as it decays it will release ammonia that in turn will feed bacteria that will release no2 that will feed other bacteria that will then release no3 bla, bla, bla, etc, etc, etc....

    you do have bottles of product now days that pretty much serve the same purpose, though i have never used them there is no reason they should not be a valid alternative but hopefully someone with direct experience will give you more pertinent information....

    regarding your fish list you defo want to add that 6 liner last or he will take the whole tank as is turf.... clowns should go in first imo....

    im sorry to say but diamond gobies are VERY difficult fish. chances of keeping him long term, especially in a new tank with a new sand bed are near nil, chances are it will starve to death..... believe me im talking from personal experience, the longest iv been able to keep one is maybe 3-4 years despite having a sump with a deep sand bed...i cant say the same about yellow watchmen though, never tried....I DID have considerably more success with Amblyeleotris randalli, a goby that will eagerly pair up with a shrimp...and if you get a mated pair that would be really cool imo

    chromis schools can be trick to obtain a healthy balanced relation, chances are at the lfs they are all in one tank and seem to be getting along fine but you don't actually know what goes on in that tank..... if im not mistaken odd numbers increase your chances of success but it remains a gamble IMO... here again someone with more concrete experience regarding schooling fish will hopefully help you out
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2016
  11. iLLaPiNo83

    iLLaPiNo83 Astrea Snail

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    Thanks swiss for the tips I love hearing other people's experiences. I added a frozen shrimp, thawed it off in a RO water yesterday.
    I had a diamond goby before but died... it dug itself his own coffin=(. And thats why this time I made the rock works more solid. Can't wait for my tank to finish cycling so i can add the clowfish but i'll do this the right way this time around wait.
    I dont have anything on my refugium section in my sump. What do you think about putting in a deep sand bed or miracle mud?
     
  12. Swisswiss

    Swisswiss Caribbean Reef Squid

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    never used miracle mud so cant really say, I have a 5-7cm sand bed in my DT because I like the look of sandbeds, my sump recently crashed (luckily with no damage to my DT) and I took out the sand bed that was in there (about 12-15cm thick), nitrates (i had about 3-5) vanished over night.... if you're aiming for the sand bed to be a natural filter it needs to be REAL deep (10+cm) and the surface kept clean,either via an effective CUC or siphoning.