Our first tank! questions!

Discussion in 'Member Tanks' started by ScottandAlisa, Feb 6, 2018.

  1. ScottandAlisa

    ScottandAlisa Member

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    thanks so much for the advice. I had no clue how it would turn out but I like the effect so far. Ill definitely be doing the nail polish trick this weekend!
     
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  2. A4goulet

    A4goulet Member R2R Supporter

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    I would say dosing pump is not necessary at all. Save your money. If you end up getting heavy into LPS or start adding some easy SPSs (which should be months away) you could start looking into dosers. Even then water changes should maintain alk & calc. I would even look into kalk in your ATO before dosing 2 part. Do you plan on purchasing an ATO? How about an RODI unit?
     
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  3. ScottandAlisa

    ScottandAlisa Member

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    My fiancé will be installing an RODI unit once the rock has been cured. As for the ATO, haven’t thought much about it but it would be helpful... I don’t know how much room Ill have next to the sump for another container though, may have to upgrade the stand before then.‍♀️
     
  4. ScottandAlisa

    ScottandAlisa Member

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    I dont why that turned into a female sign... it was suppose to be an emoji
     
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  5. A4goulet

    A4goulet Member R2R Supporter

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    I would highly recommend an ATO. It looks like you have room next to your sump inside your stand just a matter of finding a container that would fit. I have been using a cheap JBJ ato with an aqua lifter pump for 5 years with a 5 gallon bucket so it doesn't have to be to expensive. If it comes down to budget I would say ATO over getting a skimmer.
     
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  6. ScottandAlisa

    ScottandAlisa Member

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    Really? We have a skimmer but it was kinda a low grade one from craigslist. I got it in a deal with other stuff. Probably wont use it though. So theres not like a particular container you keep the water in? That may be possible then. How much do you think it would cost to setup everything for it?
     
  7. ScottandAlisa

    ScottandAlisa Member

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    Whew! Going to start the cure next weekend!! :)
    IMG_0668.jpeg
     
  8. A4goulet

    A4goulet Member R2R Supporter

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    Any food safe container will do. Lots of threads on here for some ideas. ATO systems on BRS start out at $70, pump around $20 plus what ever you find to use for the reservoir. Just came across this BRS video and rewatched it. Good info in ATOs.
     
  9. ScottandAlisa

    ScottandAlisa Member

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    Awesome. Thanks for the vid, Ill definitely take a look at it.
     
  10. ScottandAlisa

    ScottandAlisa Member

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    YAY, MORE QUESTIONS! :)
    So I'm planning on starting the cure/cycle (still not sure on the proper definition of each) of my rocks this Friday, and although I did some research Im still not super confident on some aspects... Ill post a list of questions I have and if anybody can explain any to me that'd be super helpful! Also, the picture of my curing can thing is a few comments up if that matters... but I feel like its a pretty typical setup.

    questions:
    1. Although I bought a pretty cheap pump I was wondering if theres any ways of protecting it from sucking up fragments of rock (other than purchasing the $20 pump sponge from my LFS)... anyone done any cheap DIY projects for this? maybe with mesh or any other material?
    2. Im going to be adding some water from my friends tank for the initial part in hopes that her established bacteria would jump start colonizing my rock work... I also bought a bottle of "Microbacter7" from my LFS, should I add this initially or wait a couple of days/weeks? I know most people add at the start but I was wondering if I would need to do that if I was adding an already established tanks water. Also, do I still need to add shrimp for the nitrogen if Im doing it this way (Im assuming yes since her nitrogens at 0)?
    3. Should I finalize my aquascape before adding the rock to the cure? As in, are you able to mess around with aquascaping post cycle? or will the rocks suffer from being in the air for that long?
    4. How often do you need to check parameters/do water changes? and what percentage should I change of the water (25%, 50%, 100%?)? Should the water changes be based on a timeline or parameters?
    5. Last but not least, what temp should I set the heater to? the same as what the display tank will be at eventually, or are bacteria more hardy and able to tolerate lower temps? The setup will be in my garage in NC where the temp is known to fluctuate (this weeks low is 42 and high is 74)
    I know this is a lot and undoubtably Ill think up more questions... Any help is appreciated!;Happy
     
  11. mstockmaster

    mstockmaster Active Member

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    1. You shouldn't have to worry about pumps sucking up rocks. Rocks generally don't float around the tank and most pumps wouldn't be strong enough to pick them up.

    2. Don't worry about getting water from your friends tank. If their tank is well established and pest free what you really want from them is some sand, bits of rock, and general grunge/detritus. Bacterial colonizes surfaces, not the water column.

    Also, microbacter won't hurt. Go ahead and add right at the beginning.

    3. If you're talking about during the cure then you'll want to test every few days. You'll want to watch as the ammonia transitions to nitrite and ultimately nitrate. Water change only happens at end of cycle once you're confident in your tanks ability to process ammonia. You'll change however much it takes to get nitrates to an acceptable level. (Probably 5-10 ppm)

    4. Not sure about the cold survivability of the bacteria. But in reality you'll want as much to survive and flourish as possible. Might as well keep it at normal tank temperature. 78-80 degrees.
     
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  12. ScottandAlisa

    ScottandAlisa Member

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    Thanks for the response!
    I wasn't so much worried about larger pieces of rocks blowing around.... more like small fragments that chip off, But I guess with the size of the pump it won't have the power to suck it up maybe.
    I think Ill add some of her water anyways, just so I don't have to buy as much from the LFS (don't have a RODI system yet), and maybe Ill be able to convince her to give me some rock she has in one of her biocube chambers... would it be okay if she put new uncured rock in her tank if I traded some with her?
     
  13. mstockmaster

    mstockmaster Active Member

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    If she's giving you water maybe have her siphon out her sand and you can get some of the junk in there. My opinion is that you want as much biodiversity as possible.
     
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  14. ScottandAlisa

    ScottandAlisa Member

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    Okay, I will make sure we do that!
     
  15. ScottandAlisa

    ScottandAlisa Member

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    IMG_0980.jpeg
    Excited to finally set this tank up after weeks of curing the rock while we were moving/getting settled! Im really proud of my aquascape but trying to take pics in the blues is a little difficult. Maybe Ill try and get some pics when the light is on more whites...
    Any idea on how long it’ll take for the tank to cycle? Will it take less time after curing the rock for 6 weeks? I know it depends on the parameters and every tank is different, but just want to have an idea
     
  16. sfin52

    sfin52 Valuable Member

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    Dr Tim and seachem stability make good bacteria to speed up the cycle.
     
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  17. sfin52

    sfin52 Valuable Member

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    I added seachem for two days and added fish but I used live rock and live sand as well almost zero cycle. Just maybe a hint of a mini but nothing to write home about
     
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  18. ScottandAlisa

    ScottandAlisa Member

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    Okay awesome. I put in the live sand with the beneficial bacteria and Ive been adding bacteria in a bottle daily (cant remember the brand but my fish store gave it to me when I started cycling), so hopefully it wont take long
     
  19. ScottandAlisa

    ScottandAlisa Member

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    Diatoms exploded and are now slowly fading away, hopefully I see some hair algae soon and can go get a CUC!! Cant wait!

    Here’s our current list of what we want for the cleanup crew, any advice on what to change would be awesome!
    -5 red legged hermit crabs (heard theyre less aggressive?)
    -a mix of 10-15 snails (astraea, trochus, cerith, and nassarius)
    Eventually Id also like to get a tuxedo urchin and serpent starfish.

    Also, here are some pictures of our current aquascape. Again any input is appreciated!:) IMG_6600.JPG
    IMG_6597.JPG
     
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