Straasha's New Beginning

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Straasha

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I am in the military and have moved a lot over the last 25 years. I have had freshwater aquariums most of my life but for the last 10 years, every house I lived in did not had a good location for a tank. Now that I am near the end of my military career, I finally have a house where I can put in an aquarium. I built a stand for an old 55 gallon tank and after I built it, I decided to go saltwater. Yeah, I now know that 55 gallon is not the best but I am pressing forward. The stand turned out quite well
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I decided to ditch my 1981 era 55 gallon tank because, even though it held water, I was afraid it might leak eventually due to its age. Also, because it was 3/8 inch thick, it was pretty green. I didn't want the color to distract from the beauty of a reef. I bought a 55 gallon aqueon tank from Petco during their last sale and installed Fijicube's AIO DIY Kit, a Tunze 9004, and a pair of Noopsyche K7 pros. Now I am waiting for the tank to cycle. 1 week down so far and the wait is killing me. In the meantime, what do you think of my aquascape.

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Straasha

Straasha

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Thank you. Since I am new to reef tanks, I plan to start out with the easy to take care of fish and corals. I am thinking softies and LPS with some appropriate fish. I am still working on my fish and coral plan. Any suggestions to get me started for the first 6 months?
 

rcpalmer1

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From the attention to detail you took building that stand and your past aquarium experience I would highly suggest not to do softies. I am sure you're going to have a fabulist reef because with the military background I know you are going to have the attention to detail and the problem-solving ability that is needed for a successful reef. That tank is only 12 inches wide and softies well grow 12in and a short amount of time. I would make sure that your rockscape when you look down from the top has a slightly outward slope so that corals at the bottom are getting light. I would thin start with some LPS's towards the bottom. Then after 6 months to a year and you see how successful you become you will still have room across the top for the SPs has which will need the higher par that you will be receiving closer to the lights. a reef aquarium is basically a piece of art so it is what you like but hammers frog spawns are some of my favorite that have a lot of movement. Acans are another very colorful type of coral along with blastos. As far as fish you just want to make sure you're getting reef safe fish and for me I use the old school rule of thumb what is only about 20% the amount of fish you would use in a freshwater tank of the same size. I would get a small tang of the bristletooth variety and possibly a filefish. then you want to get some fish that you think are pretty and that have the colors you like. I personally like a small school of three to four chromies or firefesh. If you like them clownfish are another great Fisk they're very Hardy and come and many different colors and designs.

If you live in Florida let me know cuz I don't ship corals but I do have a bunch and would be happy to give you some to get started with.
 
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Straasha

Straasha

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Thanks for the tips, they make perfect sense. Based upon your feedback, I will move my arches back a little to be sure to get enough light gets to the bottom area. I glue/epoxied everything together so I have limited movement at this time. Unfortunately, don't live in Florida any more. 20 years ago I lived in Fort Walton Beach for 3 1/2 years. It was one of my favorite places to live (met my wife there). I live in Ohio now (for the 2nd time).
 

Paulie069

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I am in the military and have moved a lot over the last 25 years. I have had freshwater aquariums most of my life but for the last 10 years, every house I lived in did not had a good location for a tank. Now that I am near the end of my military career, I finally have a house where I can put in an aquarium. I built a stand for an old 55 gallon tank and after I built it, I decided to go saltwater. Yeah, I now know that 55 gallon is not the best but I am pressing forward. The stand turned out quite well
20200404_123913.jpg

20200404_123830.jpg

20200404_123850.jpg
20200404_124001.jpg


I decided to ditch my 1981 era 55 gallon tank because, even though it held water, I was afraid it might leak eventually due to its age. Also, it was 3/8 inch thick that was pretty green. I didn't want the color to distract from the beauty of a reef. I bought a 55 gallon aqueon tank from Petco during their last sale and installed Fijicube's AIO DIY Kit, a Tunze 9004, and a pair of Noopsyche K7 pros. Now I am waiting for the tank to cycle. 1 week down so far and the wait is killing me. In the meantime, what do you think of my aquascape.

20200421_181836.jpg
20200426_151451-1.jpg
20200426_151442.jpg
Welcome aboard r2r brother, first thank you for your service. Second great job on cabinet looks great
 
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Straasha

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OK Team, another saga in the Cycle: Day 10. Here are today's numbers: pH 8.0, Ammonia 0.25, Nitrite, 0.5, Nitrate 80, Salinity 1.025, and temp 79. I did a 10% water change three days ago. Not sure if I should be worried. I know, I know, they say not to chase numbers. But...are things going OK?
 

ZooMontana88

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OK Team, another saga in the Cycle: Day 10. Here are today's numbers: pH 8.0, Ammonia 0.25, Nitrite, 0.5, Nitrate 80, Salinity 1.025, and temp 79. I did a 10% water change three days ago. Not sure if I should be worried. I know, I know, they say not to chase numbers. But...are things going OK?
Have you added any beneficial bacteria to your cycle? They aid in ammonia reduction and speed up your cycle... I dose my tanks 1x/week first 4 weeks, then 1x/other week. There are some great products out there.
 
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Straasha

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Have you added any beneficial bacteria to your cycle? They aid in ammonia reduction and speed up your cycle... I dose my tanks 1x/week first 4 weeks, then 1x/other week. There are some great products out there.
I am using Red Sea's Reef Mature Starter Kit, following the instructions as directed. It includes bacteria.
 
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Straasha

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Cycle is making progress. Here are this morning's stats:
Temp: 79.5
pH: 8.0
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0.25
Nitrate: 40
Alkalinity: 8.4
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I do have one question for the group. I am using Red Sea's Reef Mature Starter Kit. Part of the instructions indicate that my alkalinity should be going down and to supplement daily with KH Coralline Gro to maintain it at 8.4. Mine hasn't changed in over a week. I haven't any KH Coralline Gro during that time. Is this bad?
 

count krunk

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coraline algae wont appear quickly on dry rock in a new system. The CA, KH etc elements wont really decrease as there is little demand on them right now in the system.

Add some more ammonia to your tank to see how fast it processes. You shouldn't need to dose (if doing regular water changes) until you get maybe 5-10 corals in there.
 
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Straasha

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coraline algae wont appear quickly on dry rock in a new system. The CA, KH etc elements wont really decrease as there is little demand on them right now in the system.

Add some more ammonia to your tank to see how fast it processes. You shouldn't need to dose (if doing regular water changes) until you get maybe 5-10 corals in there.
Count Krunk, can I just use unscented ammonia from the grocery store or do I need to use something specific?
 
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