30 Gallon Build after 20 Year Hiatus, Sanity Check Please!!

tstar

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Sep 11, 2019
Messages
161
Reaction score
142
Location
North Central PA
Hi all!!!

My wife and I recently joined the forum and have been lurking for awhile reading up on everything we can find. We’re excited to get back into reefing again after a 20 year hiatus. Our plans are for a 30 gallon Reef that can support just about anything and we are in the equipment gathering stage. We are planning for a Green Mandarin Dragonet and two Clowns. I apologize if I overlooked any pertinent threads for our 30 gallon build but I couldn’t really find an answer about filtration.
So far our equipment list is;

Spectrapure 4 stage RO/DI and a Brute trashcan
HW-MarineMix Reefers Salt Mix
Refractometer
Salifert test kits
Milwaukee PH meter
Reef Breeders Photon 24” V2+
CPR Large AquaFuge filled with rock rubble and Chaeto
50 pounds Dry rock and 30 pounds dry Tropic Eden ReefFlakes Aragonite
Two Hydor Koralia 425 gph powerheads for behind the rocks
A Jabao RW4 Wavemaker for out front
Two Eheim Jager Thermocontrol E heaters
Reef Breeders EXO ATO system

How does the equipment list look? Did I forget anything??

We’re going to cycle the system by dosing ammonia, I’ve never done that and it just seems to make sense!

I’m kinda stumped about what to do for filtration. Initially I was just going to try the refugium only but We’re getting leary about that. I’m leaning towards the in tank Tunze 3163 filter and DOC Skimmer 9004. Mainly because I’m not going to run a sump and the refugium is going to take up the whole back of the tank.
Yay, Nay, alternatives????

Thanks in advance!

Tim
 

Peace River

Thrive Master
View Badges
Joined
Apr 29, 2014
Messages
8,243
Reaction score
49,481
Location
Central Florida, USA
First, welcome to R2R!!! It looks like you have a reasonable plan and I suggest a few things to consider: (1) you may want to wait on the mandarin until your tank settles out, (2) I encourage you to rethink the rubble - way too much stuff gets trapped in there, and (2) you may want to look at Dr. Tim's system for cycling. Others will likely join in soon to offer additional thoughts - we're glad you're here! :)

#WelcometoR2R #reefsquad
 

saltyhog

blowing bubbles somewhere
View Badges
Joined
Jan 2, 2014
Messages
7,395
Reaction score
18,308
Location
Conway, Arkansas
Agree with @Peace River, it takes quite a while to develop a big enough pod population to support a mandarin. Many folks would say a 30 gal is too small for one for that reason.

I have always cycled my tanks with ammonia but you also need a source of bacteria as he said. Dr. Tim's, Biospira and Fritz Turbostart are good choices for that.
 
OP
tstar

tstar

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Sep 11, 2019
Messages
161
Reaction score
142
Location
North Central PA
Thanks for the welcome!!!

No insight into my filtration dilemma??

We weren't planning on adding the Mandarin for at least a year or until we have a substantial pod population. We were also keen on getting an aquacultured one that has learned to eat frozen mysis etc...

We'll get a bottle of nitrafing Bacteria, I assumed it would start on it's own kinda like yeast can for bread making... Thank you for that education!!

Tim
 

Ron Reefman

Lets Go Snorkeling!
View Badges
Joined
Aug 12, 2012
Messages
4,937
Reaction score
11,624
Location
SW Florida
Welcome to Reef2Reef! And welcome back to the hobby. Funny, you've been away for 20 years and I've been in for 20 years!

Welcome 1.jpg


I think you have made some very good decisions and are off to a good start.

I have many of the same hardware bit and pieces over the 40g cube I have set up. You'll love the Reef Breeders Photon V2+. And the ATO system. I use both and like them both. Besides, Logan at Reef Breeders provides great customer service. Salifert test kits are a good choice as well.

I don't know that I'd spend the money for an expensive pH meter. It's a parameter that, is what it is, and it's not one you will try to control (or only VERY marginally). A simple $20 test kit will do just as well. I haven't tested for pH in years!

When you say,"Two Hydor Koralia 425 gph powerheads for behind the rocks." just what do you mean? On the back wall of the tank above the rockscape? I just hear 'behind the rocks' and think under the rocks or behind a wall of rocks. You want them where you can get at them for maintenance.

I do have a 40g sump/refugium on my system. I think you'll end up wanting a skimmer and some kind of filtration eventually, as the bio-load picks up.

I am curious about what kind of rockscape you are planing on? You might take a look at mine for an idea. There are 2 build threads in my signature below. The 'Old Build thread' is my 40g cube and has been up and running for a couple of years now. The 90g build will be a replacement for the 40g and is in the process of being built now.
 
OP
tstar

tstar

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Sep 11, 2019
Messages
161
Reaction score
142
Location
North Central PA
Thanks for the welcome!!

The SpectraPure RO/DI, refractometer and PH meter are all hold overs from 20 years ago. I doubt the PH probe is good anymore bought I have some calibration fluid for it coming, I figured if I have it I might as well use it...

I want to keep alot of flow between the rock structure and the back of the tank, our last tank would collect a royal ton of detritus behind the rockscape and it was a pain to get. I'm hoping to added flow will keep it cleaner back there. I'll aim to be able to get a hand back there and be able to pull them for cleaning... Good advice!!

We're going to be doing a lot of breaking up and gluing of our rock, my wife is in charge of the design. We're going to check out your builds for sure!!

Thanks again!

Tim
 

Blue Spot Octopus

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 30, 2016
Messages
1,429
Reaction score
559
Watch Dr Tims video on how to do the ammonia dosing. Check out In tank system and the Fluval filters I always double the number of the filter from the gallons. they are great for mechanical filtration. The tunze system should work great as well.

PS Welcome to Reef2Reef
 
OP
tstar

tstar

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Sep 11, 2019
Messages
161
Reaction score
142
Location
North Central PA
Great advice! We just watched it last night and a few others. We ordered One and Only as well as some other products from them...

FYI the ATO I picked is off the list. The Reef Breeders EXO is optically based and not recommended for a display tank as the lighting confuses the eye, they recommend the N50 ATO.

Installed the GFI and got the RO/DI mounted and plumbed. I assume the Brute trashcan only requires a simple rinse with RO/DI water?
 
Last edited:
OP
tstar

tstar

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Sep 11, 2019
Messages
161
Reaction score
142
Location
North Central PA
I guess I'll just make this my tank build thread... Here's a few bad pics of the initial rockscape and water fill;

Rockscape.jpg

Rockscape2.jpg

IMG-3156.JPG


So three weeks ago we added a large bottle of Dr. Tim's One and Only and dosed 80 drops of Ammonium Chloride. Began Monitoring, dosing, monitoring and dosing... After four days Ammonia was 0, Redosed and ammonia zeroed in 24 hours. I did that three more times then turned the lights on. Nitrites showed up on day two at 1ppm, on day four it was 0.

I let the tank sit monitoring everything. Temp steady at 79 and salinity 1.026/35

Day 8 PH was at 7.7 and added 2 tsp of SeaChem Buffer which brought it up to 8.15

Day 10 started seeing brown fuzz, ever so slight. Added a small of Chaeto to the fuge

Day 13 Diatom bloom!

Day 15 Finally decided on an ATO, broke down and got the Tunze 3155, had to trim the rim on the tank to get the sensor installed correctly. Removed some water and topped off to get salinity to 1.025. I think I need to drop my temp and to get my backup heater dialed in...

Things to get yet, Wavemaker for the two Hydor's behind the rockscape and a heater controller...

Tim
 
Corals.com
OP
tstar

tstar

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Sep 11, 2019
Messages
161
Reaction score
142
Location
North Central PA
While we're waiting on the tank to mature, we decided to try to grow our own phytoplankton. Our el-cheapo setup should be self explanitory, this first batch should be ready to harvest in two days;

KIMG0584.JPG
KIMG0585.JPG
 
OP
tstar

tstar

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Sep 11, 2019
Messages
161
Reaction score
142
Location
North Central PA
So... We're on our third... THIRD!!! Brown Diatom outbreak! Everything in the tank is doing great, current stock list;

Indio Hammer - Growing
Rainbow Bubble tip - New addition and feeding
Pulsating Xenia - growing out
GSP - Happy, in a high flow area and not expanding too quickly
Bam Bam Zoa - Good growth, just noticed some "fuzz" around a few polyps that seem to irritate it
Nirvana Zoa - Good growth
Bubblegum Digi - Really good growth!
Green Toadstool Leather - Really good growth!
Spicy Chili Favia - Was bleaching but now regaining some color

Springer Dotty -Kinda cool
Yellow Tail Damsel - Grandaughter's fault

Parameters are all good. Phosphates are 0, not sure if that's a problem. I'm suspecting Marcos Reef Saver Rock or Billy's Reef Rock that we have in the tank... Getting frustrated with these Diatom blooms!! Each one is more severe in intensity. We're just happy that the coral don't seem to mind it...

Tim
 
Last edited:
Top Shelf Aquatics

Hair Algae in your aquarium. Choose all that apply!

  • I've never had hair algae

    Votes: 52 8.3%
  • I Have had a little but nothing major

    Votes: 157 25.0%
  • I Have had several tough outbreaks

    Votes: 84 13.4%
  • I Have had a major outbreak that I won

    Votes: 185 29.5%
  • Have had a major outbreak that caused me to tear the tank down

    Votes: 26 4.1%
  • I am battling a little hair algae now

    Votes: 161 25.7%
  • I am battling a major outbreak right now

    Votes: 64 10.2%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 10 1.6%

Online statistics

Members online
2,108
Guests online
4,698
Total visitors
6,806
TheCoralConnect.com
Top