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Livestock Suggestions

nels0nico

Reefer
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2018
Location
Galleria
#23
Take some craft mesh and wrap it around that powerhead. That will prevent the nem from getting chopped up.

Being as you are are new to the hobby, I would recommend you start with zoas and shrooms. Learn to test for Calsium, Alkalinity, Magnesium, Phosphate and Nitrate. Dont use API kits. Most people like salifert. Red Sea makes good kits too.

After being able able to get consistent results then learn how to manipulate those parameters. You want to be able to have stable parameters before you add Anything other than soft coral.

Nitrate and phosphate are essentially nutrients where as alk, cal, and mag are coral skeleton building compounds.

To maintain nutrients, think of nutrient export through harvesting macroalgae and use of a protein skimmer. The other three will drop with growth of coralline algae and Stoney coral.
Quick question: are API kits really that bad?

They are so much cheaper that I wouldn’t be surprised if they were. But... they are so much cheaper! Star ratings seem to be high online too. My LFS uses API 5 in 1 test strips and I was thinking about getting those.


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Cody

Secretary
Board Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2014
Location
The Woodlands, TX
#24
Quick question: are API kits really that bad?

They are so much cheaper that I wouldn’t be surprised if they were. But... they are so much cheaper! Star ratings seem to be high online too. My LFS uses API 5 in 1 test strips and I was thinking about getting those.


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API test kits just don't have a very accurate range of results, excluding calcium. When half a point of difference for Alk can make a world of difference when it cones to things like parameter swings, a test kit that's +\- a half point just isn't the tool for the job.
 
Joined
Mar 15, 2016
Location
Katy
#25
That's one of the few things you can't really cheap out on is a test kit. I recommend salifert or red Sea. Salifert is more user friendly in my opinion


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nels0nico

Reefer
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2018
Location
Galleria
#27
Algae (with a hard G)!

Gonna battle this out. Scrub with a brush and siphon out with water change this weekend. Also, going to stop adding API quick start, I’ve read that can contribute to bloom.

My dad gets back in town this weekend and hopefully I can install my lights and power heads with him. I have to prop the tank up and work from underneath, will need his help. I think that should curtail the bloom as well. Then I will add cleanup crew and finally anemone.

I’m also going to LFS to see what they have as far as testing. They surprise me sometimes. Def not getting strips. Going to do more research and get a better grasp on things before I get anything other than nitrate test.

Picture for algae reference. Any suggestions are appreciated as always. Thanks!


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nels0nico

Reefer
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2018
Location
Galleria
#29
Water change and scrub last night. Scrubbed off all the algae from tank, only have algae on live rock. Not sure how much to scrub there, don’t want to scrub off nice purple algae.

Bought API nitrate test, levels look to be as low as can be.

Posting picture of two weeks worth of skimmate from Reef Glass skimmer. Been sort of worried as to whether this model skimmer will be sufficient for the tank. It smelled really bad, that’s for sure. The reef glass skimmer calls for a wetter skimmate so as not to clog the mechanism. Any idea as to whether this skimmate looks sufficient?

Overall, nothing else new to report.







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nels0nico

Reefer
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2018
Location
Galleria
#30
Got a Red Sea PH and Alk kit.

Alk=11
PH=8.2

I’ll keep on testing. Wondering if Alk is higher (BRStv recommends 8.5) because I have no coral consuming carbonate.


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nels0nico

Reefer
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2018
Location
Galleria
#31
I downloaded an app called Aquarimate; it's pretty slick! I'm keeping a log of all my parameters, equipment, livestock, and expenses. Really neat. The app also comes with an encyclopedia of coral... there are a lot of types of coral. Tons! I think I'm just going to start by trying to recognize what I see at my LFS. Looking at them in reference books and this app is overwhelming.

Also, it turns out the Red Sea Alk test I bought is worst than the API, lol. The Red Sea one I got has accuracy of 1dKH. API looks to be .5. I think I bought the wrong one, should have gone the Red Sea Pro. I bought the red sea PH/Alk combo. I wonder if the reagent is the same, and the only thing that changes is the dropper...

Anyway, looks like this forum is turning into a sort of journal, which is kind of fun. If any other noobs are reading this, check out the BRStv 52 week series. I'm learning a lot watching that.

That's it for now. Next update will likely be for installation of lights and power heads.
 

nels0nico

Reefer
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2018
Location
Galleria
#32
Installed light and pumps! I’m pretty happy with how everything turned out. The pictures don’t really do it justice. It’s hard to get the metering right with the bright LED’s.

The flow is working out pretty much as planned. I can see little particles gyring as diagramed in previous posts. The fish are getting kind of thrown around also. Not sure if that’s ok.

The lighting is also STRONG. May have to ramp down. Not sure what to put in right under the light. BTA or some rad shrooms...

I’m battling brown diatoms right now. Every two weeks they come back in full bloom (way worse than in picture). I got a cleanup crew from reefcleaners.com and they somewhat help, but I want it gone completely! Any suggestions?

Thanks all!

Pictures:





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nels0nico

Reefer
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2018
Location
Galleria
#33
Update

Hi all,

So this tank has been going for around six months now. No major updates other than I removed my skimmer and started using a product called algovec from Sera to combat the brown diatoms. It's greatly reduced the brown diatoms. I'm pretty sure that the reason for my constant blooms is that the tank gets direct sunlight. For now, I'm content brushing it every few days.

I considered getting a Tunze 9004, but @johntdaballa gave some good advice and I'm holding off for now (your inbox is full btw, so I couldn't respond to your PM). Don't think I need one right now anyway, tank seems to be doing really well as FOWLR, fish seem real happy. I have:
  • 2 clownfish
  • 2 yellow tail damsel
  • 1 Purple Stripe Pseudo-chromis

I plan on adding 3 bengai cardinal fish at some point, and maybe something to eat all the diatoms. I tried a CUC, but not really a big fan. Not sure if there is a better alternative as far as diatom eating livestock (tried starfish but it starved to death RIP). I also want more coralline algae and will be adding some Red Sea KH Coralline Gro and Coralline Algae in a Bottle to hopefully get some nice purp going. We'll see. Lastly, I'm really itching for a BTA for the clownfish and for some ZOA. I'm posting the proposed placement of these below.

Any suggestion would be appreciated. Thanks!
 

nels0nico

Reefer
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2018
Location
Galleria
#34
Zoa and BTA placement. Any other livestock or placement suggestions would be greatly appreciated. My parameters seem real stable as far as I can tell.



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nels0nico

Reefer
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2018
Location
Galleria
#35
Habemus Zoas!

Picked up what looks to be Rasta and Circus Circus plugs. Next will be a BTA, around Christmas probably. This will likely be my last post in this thread. Thanks all for your help.




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nels0nico

Reefer
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2018
Location
Galleria
#36
RIP to this tank. After a year, I transferred all contents to a proper 75G tank. This project was fun while it lasted and it served its purpose. I learned a lot!

The major problems I had with this setup were constant diatom blooms (because of direct sunlight) and major evaporation because of no lid. I was topping of about half a gallon a day on this approx. 30 gallon tank. Also, my three year old kept throwing his toys in the tank! Other than that, it was pretty cool. Thanks to all who helped me with this.
 

sneezebeetle

Director
Board Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2015
Location
Houston, TX
#37
RIP to this tank. After a year, I transferred all contents to a proper 75G tank. This project was fun while it lasted and it served its purpose. I learned a lot!

The major problems I had with this setup were constant diatom blooms (because of direct sunlight) and major evaporation because of no lid. I was topping of about half a gallon a day on this approx. 30 gallon tank. Also, my three year old kept throwing his toys in the tank! Other than that, it was pretty cool. Thanks to all who helped me with this.
Oh man, Im sorry to hear that. It was a pretty fun project and a cool idea, I enjoyed following along. You will have to post up some pics of the 75.

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nels0nico

Reefer
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2018
Location
Galleria
#39
Oh man, Im sorry to hear that. It was a pretty fun project and a cool idea, I enjoyed following along. You will have to post up some pics of the 75.

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Thank you! Here is the thread for my new tank. Seems much easier than this first project! Should be fun, especially with support from this forum. Thanks again!


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