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Illusiveman

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Hello All! I'm glad to be back in the hobby, I'v been out for about 6 years now because we were moving from Troy to College Station. Took awhile for us to find a more permanent home when we moved for a new career. I was heart broken when I had to take down my old setup so I've been waiting for awhile now to start this hobby up again.

I look forward to being apart of this group. I've restarted my 75 gallon tank with some upgraded equipment. I'll try to post pictures below. I would call myself intermediate level at the moment, always trying to get to expert with time and experience. I took a trip to down this weekend to Fish Gallery, Ocean Life, FJW, and That Aquarium Place to get a feel with these fish stores and get a sense of comfortably. So far Fish Gallery was my only store that I may not go back and visit. However, I did not see one store that did not have one or more diseased fish which is concerning. I do plan to QT all live stock before adding to the display.

The new setup cycle is a bit concerning as it is taking a bit longer to cycle than normally. However, I am doing a fishless cycle with Dr Tim's ammonia. Normally I do this with a raw shrimp, but I wanted to try something that I could measure going into the system. Time will tell if I need some help troubleshooting.

Once again, I am excited to share my experiences and help out anyway I can.

Thanks,
 

ITreefer

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Welcome back!
Please post some pictures and specifics on your system when you can.
Your going for anything specific or just a mixed reef? Are you running a sump?
 
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Illusiveman

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See attached pics I think most everyone can see the equipment I'm using. Lighting is G5 XR15 pros at 60% AB+ power. I used the manufacture recommended height and power levels to get the most even par. I do not have a meter to check it, but I believe it is close to and even 250.

I'm planning on a mixed reef. I was going to do just SPS, however I like the soft corals to much. I might even try my luck at a clam this time. One of my goals is to practice stability in this go round.
 

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ITreefer

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Looks great! Will be fun to see it develop.
You have access to a PAR meter because you're a supporting member, might as well borrow it and get some numbers.
 
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Illusiveman

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Thank you for the comment. I'm always open to suggestions and feedback. Right now I'm a little concerned about my tank now cycling. It's been at 0.8 ammonia for 10 days now and not changed. I am doing this a bit differently than in the past. I used the shrimp method before and I don't remember it taking this long when I used a booster or bacteria starter.

Coralline algae is growing. I used a bottle of Algae Barns Helix purple as a bacteria starter and for coralline. Crazy thing on the coralline, I didn't expect to see it for 6 weeks. I'll just keep being patient and see what happens.
 

Tstew32

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Thank you for the comment. I'm always open to suggestions and feedback. Right now I'm a little concerned about my tank now cycling. It's been at 0.8 ammonia for 10 days now and not changed. I am doing this a bit differently than in the past. I used the shrimp method before and I don't remember it taking this long when I used a booster or bacteria starter.

Coralline algae is growing. I used a bottle of Algae Barns Helix purple as a bacteria starter and for coralline. Crazy thing on the coralline, I didn't expect to see it for 6 weeks. I'll just keep being patient and see what happens.
Have you always done bare bottom or is this something new you are trying now that you’re back into the hobby?


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Illusiveman

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I used to use sand in my first couple of setups. But now I like to run bare bottom just because i like to see the detritus build up and that kinda lets me know when I need to do an early water change. This is the first time i'm using the ecotech power heads, and they probably going to keep the detritus suspended enough to either get caught in the skimmer or filter socks.
 
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Illusiveman

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Started seeing diatoms in the sump, none on the rock yet. First sign of things moving in the right direction. We are at day 12 now and still have an ammonia reading of 0.8. I'm thinking of increasing it closer to 1.5 or 2.0. What are some thoughts?
 

second_decimal

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welcome back. I actually added substrate back into my the system like 2 days ago. been running BB for like 4-5 months and not happy with the look. the substrate does a couple of things.. one, it brightens everything up like nothing else. i guess you can get that if you let the coraline grow on the bottom, but that takes years. furthermore, i was battling low ph the entire time. the substrate definitely is a key contributer to stability.
 
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Illusiveman

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Alright so I've waiting long enough and my ammonia levels are not dropping and its been 4 weeks at 1.2 ppm ammonia. For some reason or another the bacteria is just not growing. I need some help troubleshooting this issue. If you read above you'll find that I used Dr Tim's Ammonium Chloride fishless cycle to start the process. So I would like to start a baseline here, what information do I need to provide to start troubleshooting the problem.
 

second_decimal

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Revert to throw in half a shrimp and ghost feed occasionally? Tried and true..

dose microbacter7 and / or fritz quick start or whatever it’s called.
 
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Illusiveman

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Alright, false alarm I guess. I went ahead and measured the nitrite(1ppm) and nitrites(5ppm). Just a really slow cycle for this time around. I didn't check these before because i wanted to see a drop in the ammonia first. This proves that bacteria is growing just taking a long time. I guess bare bottom could be one of the reasons for the slow start but, with 60 pounds of pukani dry rock in the tank, I would have thought that's plenty of surface area to grow bacteria.

I'm going to lower the salinity to 1.025 from 1.026 and raise the temp to 82 from 78.5 over the next few days and that should speed it up just a bit. This could be the longest tank cycle startup in my reefing career. I'm expecting it to be around 6 - 7 weeks now before adding fish.

And yes, next time I will go back to my shrimp method :).
 
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