30g First Tank

Lopezag1994

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Hey reefers! This is my first saltwater aquarium; well any aquarium really. I’ve had it up and running for about a month and just recently added some clowns, more rock, and my first corals (zoas) and some sort of “palm” tree coral my LFS had for super cheap.
It’s an AIO tank with an overflow that goes through some bio media, carbon cubes, filter floss, and then some black bag my LFS said I needed ASAP in order to start with corals. Will have to find exactly what it was again. I know it was not carbon.
Besides the coral there is approximately 20lbs of live rock, 2 clowns, 2 damsels, cleaner shrimp, 2 tiger conches, and a cardinal.
Running an AI Prime light.
My PH is 8.4, ammonia 0, nitrites and nitrates 0 as well. Temp 76-78. I use a saltwater test kit I purchased and do water changes of 5g every Wednesday.
I used bacteria to speed up the cycling of the tank.
My questions/concerns are what other parameters should I really be focused on? I have approx. 7 more corals from WWC coming next week, mostly zoas.
Also, I had a pretty large diatom outbreak twice. Once when first starting the tank And then again just this week when adding some more rock and first corals. It seems to be dying off now but my rocks, return nozzles, skimmer, etc... is covered in brown crud, what’s the best way to deal with this without removing everything to hand clean? Lastly, any tips, changes, advice is super appreciated. Doing my best to learn this hobby quickly as I have horrible patients and shooting for corals as fast as I can. I know patients is a virtue in this hobby but I just want my beautiful zoa garden yesterday! Lol.
I plan on bumping up to a Waterbox 200+ gallon as soon as I can financially so this 30g is really just a test before I get to the big leagues!
Any tips on how to take better photos with the LED lighting would be awesome too! My photos are horrible:(
Thanks again in advance for any tips/help!
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Redfoxtang

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First off Welcome to R2R!! With help removing algae i would shutoff all flow and return pumps and then start scraping the sides with a aquarium cleaner or a clean razor blade, get as much as you can then do a 5g water change to remove as much as possible! I also think i this point your 5g changes are pretty much keeping water stable as there is not alot of coral to uptake your elements. Once more corals get added then i would start checking DKH annd CAL once a week to make sure everything is staying in line!! Take it nice and slow and youll see success, nothing good comes from getting excited and rushing to get things moved along quicker.
 

BeejReef

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Sounds like you're off to a strong start.
Since you're asking for advise, I'll offer that you did well to wait a month for a few fish and you seem to be choosing appropriate corals for a new tank, but you're def leaning towards the ambitious side of the patience scale ;)

The only thing more frustrating than watching a couple zoa frags not really grow a lot is watching a dozen zoa frags not really grow a lot.. lol. Give them a few weeks to a couple months to settle in and you'll see the rewards.

No real substitute for hand cleaning nozzles, pumps, skimmers. Scrape the glass with a mag float, siphon the sandbed, and blow a turkey baster at your rocks prior to a water change will go a long way too.
 
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Lopezag1994

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First off Welcome to R2R!! With help removing algae i would shutoff all flow and return pumps and then start scraping the sides with a aquarium cleaner or a clean razor blade, get as much as you can then do a 5g water change to remove as much as possible! I also think i this point your 5g changes are pretty much keeping water stable as there is not alot of coral to uptake your elements. Once more corals get added then i would start checking DKH annd CAL once a week to make sure everything is staying in line!! Take it nice and slow and youll see success, nothing good comes from getting excited and rushing to get things moved along quicker.
Thanks! I’ll start testing that today to stay ahead of the game for my new corals coming next week!
 
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Lopezag1994

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Sounds like you're off to a strong start.
Since you're asking for advise, I'll offer that you did well to wait a month for a few fish and you seem to be choosing appropriate corals for a new tank, but you're def leaning towards the ambitious side of the patience scale ;)

The only thing more frustrating than watching a couple zoa frags not really grow a lot is watching a dozen zoa frags not really grow a lot.. lol. Give them a few weeks to a couple months to settle in and you'll see the rewards.

No real substitute for hand cleaning nozzles, pumps, skimmers. Scrape the glass with a mag float, siphon the sandbed, and blow a turkey baster at your rocks prior to a water change will go a long way too.
Ah the turkey baster is a great idea, I’m noticing that’s a mandatory tool for this hobby. Got to pick one up ASAP! I figured I’d have to clean everything by hand but was hoping for some fancy trick lol.
i got lucky at my LFS and the zoas I picked up already have a solid 8-10 polyps but I know the WWC ones are gonna be like 1-2 polyps Really going to test my patients! Thanks for the advice!
 
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