Cary's First 40B Reef Setup

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caltman

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Here is how the tank is looking today... the water has cleared up nicely with the initial filtering through a bag and processed by the skimmer for a day. Today, I dismantle the refugium for some small leak repair, and in a few days we will get things going again... this time for real.
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count krunk

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What lights are you using? To avoid algae growth, leave the lights off until you get some livestock in there.

Also next time, figure out all the plumbing etc before filling it up with rocks, sand, and saltwater .

Live sand isnt so alive really. You can get dry sand and dry live rocks and both will come alive in your system via bacteria.

For water, distilled water is what you want to use if you can't get rodi water.

So you have a 40g that flows into a 10g?

40g is a very popular build, there are many many 40g builds on this site.
 
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What lights are you using? To avoid algae growth, leave the lights off until you get some livestock in there.

Also next time, figure out all the plumbing etc before filling it up with rocks, sand, and saltwater .

Live sand isnt so alive really. You can get dry sand and dry live rocks and both will come alive in your system via bacteria.

For water, distilled water is what you want to use if you can't get rodi water.

So you have a 40g that flows into a 10g?

40g is a very popular build, there are many many 40g builds on this site.
Hi Count... using t5 x 24" lights, one blue and one white. Yes, the famous learning curve got in the way here and now I know to do the plumbing stuff first, sterilize a used tank and get it all cleaned up, background installed on the back glass, rocks and sand next, AND THEN WATER. I sure could have made things a lot easier with the knowledge I have already picked up so far.

Oh well.. next time. This time I have what I have. I started with a used tank being used by its previous owner to grow plankton, so of course not knowing I should sterilize that tank, I had a bloom. A week in the dark, and now a UV light, and I am getting ahead of the algae... plus the great crop of macro algae in my refugium is starving it out slowly but surely. Baby steps... I am getting a bit smarter.

Yes, it is a 40b to a 10g and through trial and error I have figured out how much water needs to be in the system so as to not overflow the refugium during feeding or power outages. I have learned how to do all my tests and interpret the results. I have learned the difference between pH and alkalinity and have each adjusted to recommended levels. I have been learning how to balance clean water with salt water in my evaporation additions, so as to keep the salinity near 1.025.

Gaining a bit more confidence, I have outfitted the tank with 12 sand cleaning snails and some glass cleaners too. Also I got about 10 hermit crabs to start doing their thing. Carefully watching my parameters I can see things coming into line quite nicely and even saw some baby snails crawling on the glass, so this weekend I got brave and put a couple of small damsels in there too. I have been learning the joys of how often to change and clean my socks and the input screen to my syphon pump so that water flow continues at a good rate and in the next few days I expect to see miracles in the clarity of the water as my UV light starts to kill the bloom as if flows through the refugium.

So now I watch to see which parameters spike with the two new ammonia sources in the tank and figure out what, if anything, that I need to do about it.
 
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caltman

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ok... it has been 3 days since installing the UV light in the back corner of my refugium, and oh what a difference 3 days has made! I have changed my sock twice and tried both slow water flow and fast, not sure which would be the most effective as the water flows past the UV bulb.
Here is what I was dealing with... here is the tank the day I installed the new light:
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Here was 24 hours later, that light really works!
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And here is today. Each day is adding new clarity to the water and more relief to this new reefer. All of my parameters appear to be where they need to be and things appear to be more or less stable as long as I make sure to keep water flow at a reasonable rate and add back about 1/2 gallon a day due to evaporation.

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Here is a brand new baby snail, about a week old and now about 1/4 inch long

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And here is my refugium, with 2 types of macro algae absolutely going insane in there along with the 'pods and a couple of baby starfish and a horseshoe crab that came in with the live rock from the LFS.

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Bottom line... all the baby steps have resulted in this! I think things are working! I also know that UV light is a miracle and now that I can actually see my livestock, I am really starting to enjoy this!
 
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caltman

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All has been looking very good in my tank for the last 2 weeks or so and I'm very happy with the progress. All my parameters are remaining stable and my ammonia nites and trites remain at zero even though I have added six new fish. At the moment I am a very happy reefer with a lot of life in my tank.
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What fish did you add? 6 all at once? Over the period of a month?
over a month or longer... I started with an emerald crab, a few hermit crabs and sand and glass cleaning snails. After several weeks of that, I added two damsels. They seemed to be doing ok after a week, so I added a coral beauty angel. Another week or so, I added two clowns, and just last week, a couple of weeks later, I got a bicolor blenny. A couple more weeks, I am going to be very tempted to try an anemone. Oh, and pay no attention to that crazy reading on the salinity swing arm... it is actually very close to 1.025
 
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This last weekend I went to buy an anemone and was surprised with the starting price of $150... so I came home instead with my first two corals. I have no idea if the small encapsulating coral shard is happy because it just sits there, but the polyp coral shard seems to be active and happy. Alkalinity and Calcium levels are good... more baby steps.

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