Back to the Hobby: The 180 mixed reef

Wick3d_1

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We are starting a 180 gallon mixed reef. My husband and I have been out to the since 2015. So most of the knowledge we had had been forgotten. We've wanted to put another tank up since we bout our house last year plus we have a 5 year old so we think it'll be a good learning experience for her as well. If nothing she'll enjoy watching the fish. She is beyond excited already and everday asking we are getting fishies.

Equipment we have already:
180 gal Tank 72"x24"x24" Dual Overflow
Reef Octopus XP- 2000 Skimmer
180 Pounds of Reef Rock, Dry
100 Pounds of Live Sand
2x 1950 gph Gen 3 Koralia Powerhead 2x 2450 gph Gen 3 Koralia Powerhead
40 breeder (Gonna make a DIY sump)
Jebao 18000 DCP Return Pump
2x 36" Aquatic Life 4 bulb T5 Hybrid
2x AI Hydra 64HD
Floating Wall Mount
400W Glass Heater
100 W Glass Heater
Apex Classic with Probes and 2 EB8 outlet.
Random assortment of smaller items, refractor meter, smaller pumps, test kits, etc.

We've built our own stand from repurposed timber. And we built our own sump from a standard 40B. We are now two weeks into a lightless cycle.

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Reef Chasers Aquaculture

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Throw a bottle of biospira and a bottle of microbacter7, and carefully dose a few rounds of 2ppm Ammonia (ace hardware janitorial stuff is cheap) and have that cycled in a week. Times have changed from 5 years ago.

I’ve cycled 220 gallon tanks in 19 days, from the minute I first put water in it to the water being at 60ppm nitrate with zero ammonia or nitrite. 95% water change to bring nitrate down to 5ppm and it was running for 3 years before I broke it down to move last month.
 
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Wick3d_1

Wick3d_1

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So, we are cycling our 20G QT. First fish maybe a Sailfin & Purple Tangs. Also added some copepods to the refugium. Still haven't decided on a fuge light and macros. So if anyone has some suggestions for those, I'm all ears!
 

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So, we are cycling our 20G QT. First fish maybe a Sailfin & Purple Tangs. Also added some copepods to the refugium. Still haven't decided on a fuge light and macros. So if anyone has some suggestions for those, I'm all ears!
Don’t worry about a fuge right off- 3.5 years in on my 180 and I don’t grow chaeto since I have zero excess nutrients. I have to dose nitrate and phosphate just to keep corals happy. I’d wait until you have things going before you worry about buying a light and macros.

got a QT strategy? I use the ‘hybrid TTM’ method with tank transfers and hydrogen peroxide dips, filled by observation with saltwater adapted mollies. Details in the Disease forum or over on ‘Humblefish’ forums.

good luck!

I got a 5” purple tang for $30 3 years ago because it had hlle- nothing some vitamins couldn’t fix and now he is an amazing looking fish. A desjardini sail fin is going to be my next big purchase once I get the Fishroom/QT area built out after the move
 
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Wick3d_1

Wick3d_1

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Don’t worry about a fuge right off- 3.5 years in on my 180 and I don’t grow chaeto since I have zero excess nutrients. I have to dose nitrate and phosphate just to keep corals happy. I’d wait until you have things going before you worry about buying a light and macros.

got a QT strategy? I use the ‘hybrid TTM’ method with tank transfers and hydrogen peroxide dips, filled by observation with saltwater adapted mollies. Details in the Disease forum or over on ‘Humblefish’ forums.

good luck!

I got a 5” purple tang for $30 3 years ago because it had hlle- nothing some vitamins couldn’t fix and now he is an amazing looking fish. A desjardini sail fin is going to be my next big purchase once I get the Fishroom/QT area built out after the move
We do observation QT. Then if need be, we will treat. We don't have the time or room for TTM. Observation for 15 days and if the fish are eating, healthy, and disease free, they go in the big pool. We may push it out to 30 days.
 
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The first inhabitants have been chosen. They are currently in QT. A pair of Long Fin Clowns and Tomini Tang (commonly called a Flameback tang). Once these guys go in the big pool, the next ones will be my "show" pieces. A purple tang, Red Sea sailfin tang, and a magnificent foxface. Then we will work on adding the littler fish and CUC.
 

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The first inhabitants have been chosen. They are currently in QT. A pair of Long Fin Clowns and Tomini Tang (commonly called a Flameback tang). Once these guys go in the big pool, the next ones will be my "show" pieces. A purple tang, Red Sea sailfin tang, and a magnificent foxface. Then we will work on adding the littler fish and CUC.
Did you steal my fish?!?!?

I have a magnificent foxface (Michael J Foxface) and purple tang called santos and a flame fin Tomini called Tomi, as well as a pair (although the male died later week, after getting spooked in the holding lowboy50 and swimming head first into a pump) of onyx Picasso clowns. Other favorites include flashers wrasses, a Midas blenny, and a yellow Coris wrasse (last two soon to be purchased). I’ve been looking for a gif Desjardini to add to the tang collection too.

we seem to have similar tastes in fish!
 

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We do observation QT. Then if need be, we will treat. We don't have the time or room for TTM. Observation for 15 days and if the fish are eating, healthy, and disease free, they go in the big pool. We may push it out to 30 days.
If you are getting these fish locally, around ATL, it may burn you sooner than you’d think. Not very many disease free fish or stores around here.

but I respect the fact you have them in Obs first though- that’s more than most do.

good luck
 
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Wick3d_1

Wick3d_1

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If you are getting these fish locally, around ATL, it may burn you sooner than you’d think. Not very many disease free fish or stores around here.

but I respect the fact you have them in Obs first though- that’s more than most do.

good luck
If they show signs of the big 3, ich, velvet, or flukes (in the clowns case, Brook), I will absolutely treat. I'm just not educated enough on pre medicated QT to do it right off the bat. I'm afraid of accidentally killing the fish via meds. I will take any knowledge on the subject though. I am absolutely willing to learn.
 

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If they show signs of the big 3, ich, velvet, or flukes (in the clowns case, Brook), I will absolutely treat. I'm just not educated enough on pre medicated QT to do it right off the bat. I'm afraid of accidentally killing the fish via meds. I will take any knowledge on the subject though. I am absolutely willing to learn.
The absolutely best place to go for that info is ‘Humblefish forums’- he used to be a huge part of the disease support group here but founded his own forum after he started a storefront selling preQT’d fish online. He has spent YEARS developing protocols for many many different fish and has developed a protocol free of damaging chemicals that is 100% effective if followed properly. It uses hydrogen peroxide dips followed by TTM, and then follow up observation. It is intensive and takes resources and space,
But it isn’t risky like long term copper treatment (immunosuppresive after 3 weeks but only truly effective after 4 weeks, so bacterial infections are a huge risk)

anyway- I would start there, but there are a number of people in the disease forum that worked closely with him over the years that still offer advice.

IMHO, of course.
 
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