First tank (kinda)

dherman15

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Hi all!
Very excited for this adventure!
I had a 29 gal tank when I was in college, traded it for beer money after a few months. So my experience is limited.
I have three children (6,4,2) and they have been hounding me for a dog. I refuse to potty train two living creatures at the same time. So I made them a deal, lets get a fish tank and if you can help maintain it we will get a dog in a year. I don't have a stocking plan other than a clean up crew and one or two clowns.

Purchased a Fluval 13.5 and after some research went ahead and did some upgrades.
inTank Chamber One (bottom - Marine Pure Gems, Middle - Chemi-pure Elite)
Fluval Sea CP2
Sicce Syncra 1.0
Fluval M50 Heater
RO Buddie
Removed stock carbon and replaced with Chemi-Pure Blue (I don't think I needed this)
Fritz Pro Mix

The tank has been up and running for a week and a half and I already want a larger tank. I haven't taking any parameter checks, I plan to start tomorrow.
Also designed a stand from some examples found on the forum. I will share once I clean them up.

Please give me feedback both positive and improvements are welcomed
I'll share my parameters tomorrow.
Cheers
Cheers
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dherman15

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Well the weekend went by too fast as always. I wasn't able to post any updates as a friend came by and we enjoyed some great bourbons.
I did a test yesterday and came to the conclusion that the API tests are extremely hard to read, or I'm color blind. I wish they made testers that returned an actual value rather than guessing a color. Maybe some of you can give me recommendations for other test kits.
pH - 8.2
Ammonia - .50
Nitrate - 20 ppm
Nitrite - 1.0
Phosphate - .25

Looks like we are still the cycle. Planning to test each day and document in excel. Also I took some old dry rock I had from my old tank and letting it set with some water hoping to improve my scape without problems.

When should I preform my first water change? After cycle is complete?
I hope to be able to order a clean up crew and a clown by xmas.
Lights off during cycle...correct? I've had them on over the weekend but during the week they are off.

Also I was able to work on the stand this weekend. I'll paint it and attached doors in two weeks.
Ill post parameter updates a couple times this week.
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dherman15

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Update...
Todays readings are as follows
Salinity - 1.025
pH - 8.2
Phosphate - 0
Ammonia - .25
Nitrite - 2.0
Nitrate - 5.0

I think they are the same as yesterday as its crazy difficult to read the colors.
I've been reading about putting a piece of shrimp in the tank to "help" the cycle. Not sure if I should do this or not. I might try if no movement by this weekend.
On another note I think I have some coralline algae growing. Its hard to see but I swear its purple growing.
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Also my rock is stinking, don't know what is means but I plan on moving it into the tank in a few days.
cheers
 
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dherman15

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Been a while since last post.
My tank parameters are crazy right now. I started ghost feeding and my ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites are super high. I hope this is good for the cycle. This weekend I plan on adding doors to my stand as my 2 year old thinks she ready to preform tests by herself.
I change my scape up a bit. My wife likes the new one....happy wife...happy life.
I still hope to clowns for CUC by Xmas but with the parameters as they are It may be difficult.
Also how do you clean the inside glass? Mine looks terrible and there is nothing in the tank.
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cheers
 
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dherman15

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A couple updates:
I very confused on if my tank had cycled so I purchased Dr. Tim's one and only then followed directions.
Once this was complete I purchased our first two inhabitants from TSM aquatics. I thought we were going to have a problem as when I received the package the seams on one of bags broke and almost all the water was escaped. I followed proper procedure to introduce in the tank and emailed TSM. As of now the clowns (pappy and rose) look healthily. TSM replied and asked how they were.
My CUC arrives next week and currently looking at some corals to introduce in a few months. Also I am researching ATO units and actively searching the buy sale trade section of this forum.
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