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kittenbritches

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Update: Once I added a HOB refugium to my sumpless 40B, it was game over. The tank started leaking within a week because the extra weight pulled the tank too far out of level.

As such, I upgraded to a Red Sea Reefer 250. If you'd like to start there, click here. If you'd like to read through my learning journey leading up to The Great Leak, carry on. :)



Hi all! I'm new(ish) to the hobby. My ex-husband had a saltwater tank while we were married (we split nine years ago), and I recently decided that I want to do a build of my own.

I'm nearing the end of my fishless cycle (Day 22, ammonia zero, still waiting for nitrite drop off) and trying to moderate my desire to stock like crazy once it's done. Salinity is stable, but a little high with the water I started with (1.027), so I'll adjust with the post-cycle water change. Cycling with lights off at about 78° F.

Started with Imagitarium Pacific Ocean water, and have since purchased an RODI system and will be mixing my own saltwater.

Started with base rock and "life" rock — about 40-50 lbs worth, and 40 lbs live sand. I've got a cheap Amazon light for now. I'll upgrade once I'm ready to add corals. Ignore the Marineland pump — it's too strong as a pump or powerhead, so I'm relegating it to the mixing bin.

17D340C5-52A1-46F1-B802-67C31FCC7882.jpeg


I'm a pretty big data nerd, and my nitrogen cycle doesn't look like what I've seen online, but I'm confident it's doing what it is supposed to. I'm testing with the API kit. Some people have told me it's trash — I'd love recommendations for the best kits for testing water parameters.

D3D3649E-F55A-4651-9A1A-9BB793D4462A.jpeg

My game plan is slow and steady. I'll learn and adjust as I go. ♥️ Always open to encouragement and feedback!
 
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Orphek OR3 reef aquarium LED lighting
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kittenbritches

kittenbritches

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After exactly one month, my nitrites finally dropped to zero! I'll be doing a 25-gal water change this afternoon and adding stock this week. I'm so excited!

I did add a full dose of ammonia yesterday to do the 24-hour check to make sure the NH3 and NO2 are converted in that timeframe. I'm a little nervous that it won't be zero, but I've still got a couple of days before I get fish in there anyway.

1630253447958.png


I tweaked my aquascape a bit, which I'm also excited about, as I've got some awesome caves and overhangs now, as well as more stability.

It will be so fun to have more than just rocks. :D
 
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kittenbritches

kittenbritches

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Reef Chasers Aquaculture

Sleeping Giant

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Looks like your ex lost out on everything, you and the aquarium..lol
Glad you got the saltwater Itch, it's a fun experience and amazing to see when it starts coming together like this.
 
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kittenbritches

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Looks good the caves are nice! What are your stocking plans?
Over the course of the next few months, I'm planning on starting with a couple of snowflake clowns (this week), then some cardinalfish, then an orchid dottyback, and maybe a watchman goby.

I'd like to get a BTA for the clowns and will probably let it pick its spot in the tank prior to adding corals.

As advice goes...I was looking at a premium snowflake and a misbar black & white ocellaris clownfish because I think they would look awesome together. But is it wiser to add a pair of bonded snowflakes?
 
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A Piece of the Ocean for Every Reef Tank
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kittenbritches

kittenbritches

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FWIW, nitrites are non-toxic in saltwater.

Everything I've read said both ammonia and nitrites need to be at zero, and that over 0.75ppm NO2 is lethal. Is that...not correct???
 

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Over the course of the next few months, I'm planning on starting with a couple of snowflake clowns (this week), then some cardinalfish, then an orchid dottyback, and maybe a watchman goby.

I'd like to get a BTA for the clowns and will probably let it pick its spot in the tank prior to adding corals.

As advice goes...I was looking at a premium snowflake and a misbar black & white ocellaris clownfish because I think they would look awesome together. But is it wiser to add a pair of bonded snowflakes?
Qt before adding to tank if you can. I highly advise it since chasing fish in a aqauskaped tank is a hassle if you have to manage ich or velvet or brook. and just do one fish every couple of weeks to help with the bio load and cultivating the proper amount of good bacteria!
 

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Over the course of the next few months, I'm planning on starting with a couple of snowflake clowns (this week), then some cardinalfish, then an orchid dottyback, and maybe a watchman goby.

I'd like to get a BTA for the clowns and will probably let it pick its spot in the tank prior to adding corals.

As advice goes...I was looking at a premium snowflake and a misbar black & white ocellaris clownfish because I think they would look awesome together. But is it wiser to add a pair of bonded snowflakes?
Can almost choose any two clownfish and they will pair, just keep to 2 clownfish lol I had to learn the hard way
 

dvgyfresh

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Everything I've read said both ammonia and nitrites need to be at zero, and that over 0.75ppm NO2 is lethal. Is that...not correct???
Nitrites are not toxic to salt water fish but ammonia is
 

olonmv

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Everything I've read said both ammonia and nitrites need to be at zero, and that over 0.75ppm NO2 is lethal. Is that...not correct???

this guy knows his poo!
 
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kittenbritches

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Qt before adding to tank if you can. I highly advise it since chasing fish in a aqauskaped tank is a hassle if you have to manage ich or velvet or brook. and just do one fish every couple of weeks to help with the bio load and cultivating the proper amount of good bacteria!
I have a smaller tank in storage that I'm planning on setting up as a QT tank asap. The clowns I'm looking at have already been quarantined, though, which buys me a little time. Great advice! Thank you! <3
 

olonmv

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I have a smaller tank in storage that I'm planning on setting up as a QT tank asap. The clowns I'm looking at have already been quarantined, though, which buys me a little time. Great advice! Thank you! <3
Awesome! I highly suggest it. I lost several fish because I rushed. It’s preventable with a lil planning! Good luck!!!
 

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Nice tank and rescaping! As for fish, I'd recommend buying an already bonded pair of clownfish if possible, but you're certainly able to get two separate and have them bond in your tank. There is a small risk they don't pair, but I've read it's rare.

Good luck!
 
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Nice tank and rescaping! As for fish, I'd recommend buying an already bonded pair of clownfish if possible, but you're certainly able to get two separate and have them bond in your tank. There is a small risk they don't pair, but I've read it's rare.

Good luck!

Thank you! I did decide to go with the bonded pair -- my anxiety decided that being risk-averse is the better move for my first tank inhabitants! :D
 
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