Please go easy on me :)

txgunsmith14

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Hey all,
Can’t sleep tonight so I thought I’d post my adventure. New to the hobby and building up quickly.
I know I rushed and this timeline is to show others that patience is required not just recommended. I would have done it differently for sure


Went to South padre in June and picked up a few shells on the beach including a couple live hermits.
-came back and purchased a 10g tank and thought salt water would be fun.
-put both hermits in and some sand from the beach mixed with hermit crab substrate (yeah the dry land crab stuff)
Cleaned out all the floating wood and dumped the tank. Purchased Fiji sand thinking it was like the beach then not knowing about cycling got a starfish and two damsels.
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-poor starfish wasn’t doing well so move him to a glass bowl with new saltwater for two days. Stirring and splashing it every 30 minutes to add oxygen
-Struggled with heater and filter then decided after the two damsels died I was rushing.
-read about fluctuating parameters in little tanks so went to a 40g.
-only ever tested ammonia and nitrites so after a water change both of those looked great and purchased a clown. Even put fake coral in from petco lol. This was all by July.
Took the fake stuff out and threw in a few shells and a couple live rocks.
Got a power head cause “I read it should be like the ocean”.
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-Mid July got more rocks cause it said live bacteria and thought my ammonia was solved.
-purchase a black and white clown and two more damsels.

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By this point two damsels had died, two hermits, orange clown, and star made it. I thought it was going ok.
-purchased a lta for $70 and was getting worried about my drive vs patience now.

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Hey my tank looked like the ocean now that I bought a cheap $40 wave maker on Amazon.

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I purchased some coral frags of something with coral in the first name and thought wow how hard is this.

After burying the lta in the sand 15 million times and still popping out he finally discover the cheap wave maker early July. The tank was cover in milky color bad.

I had been doing water changes weekly of about 25% by this point so I went ahead and did a 50%. Kept him separated but he stood no chance.

At the same time the second pair of damsels began acting strange and laying on the sand etc. I thought it was because one picked on the other too much.
I finally decided to start the 10g back up and run a quarantine/reef tank and a 40g fish tank.

I moved the damsel over and my small zoa frags (yeah I finally learned what they were) and hoped I didn’t have the same issues.

I finally stopped buying living things and started getting things that mattered like test kits. 25% water change on both every weekend for the next 5 weeks. Zoas were looking good and fish were happy with the exception of one of the damsels. He didn’t make it like due to stress.
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Hated the pile of rocks and built them up. 40g was doing amazing on parameters now. It had 2 clowns, 3 hermits, star, and 2 peppermint shrimp.

After 2 months of patience if that’s what it was lol I was ready to begin again.
Late August and in to this month I got a couple more fish. One butterfly and a puffer (been in the tank for two weeks no issues). Got a couple more corals (Superman shrooms 20 of them for $50 and a plate for $15)

Yesterday I decided my 10 reef tank was too small and moved it up to a 20.

Took a couple crabs and starfish and put them into the 10 so the puffer doesn’t eat them.

I know it seems I’m rushing and I’m trying not to but everything is going extremely smooth…..now.

I know I will have to have a bigger tank in the near future for the butterfly and puffer and a 150-180g is being looked in to.

All three tanks are 0 ammonia
0 nitrites
20 nitrates
Phosphates 1-2
Reef tank is a bit high on calcium at 500

Hopefully my story helps those in a hurry to understand you can’t rush this hobby. Also hope I don’t get too much grief here.

sorry so many photos are blue. Working on learning that too.
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Zoanthids

PeterC99

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Welcome to R2R!

Thank you for sharing your experiences! We have all been there and made many of the same mistakes. Important thing is that we learn from them. Looks like you are doing well now!

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txgunsmith14

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Welcome to R2R! Looks like a lot of the mistakes everyone has made one time or another. Curious what lighting are you using now?
I have used a Fluval Sea on the 40 since the beginning. I had a Coralife 18” on the 10g up until tank change.

I moved the Fluval to the 20g and purchased and Aqueon Optibright for the 40 since there are no Coral. I really don’t like the whites on it as it looks yellow compared to the Fluval white
 

GoReefin

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Do you guys keep that dumb red algae on the sand or treat it?
I found that a fighting conch eats the cyanobacteria from the sand. Not sure how your puffer would react to one though.
 
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Jimbhoy13

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Welcome to R2R and the salty world. Thanks for your story. It can be a. Long journey to get things right. Go slow in this hobby. Love the puffer. Lots of knowledgeable and helpful people here who will support and advise you when needed.
 
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txgunsmith14

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Welcome to R2R and the salty world. Thanks for your story. It can be a. Long journey to get things right. Go slow in this hobby. Love the puffer. Lots of knowledgeable and helpful people here who will support and advise you when needed.
Thanks. I’m trying.
 
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