Tank Update (New Soft Corals)

Today I got some cool new stuff!  I picked up a new pump for the tank as I think I was having some flow issues, and then I went over to my buddy Jim’s place, who gave me a bunch of cool new corals.  I got a blueberry clove,  green 5 star polyps, a green/blue striped mushroom, and a red mushroom.  He also gave me a piece of live rock with a ton of coralline algie. Very cool stuff 😀

Tank Update (Basic Maintenance)

Tonight I did a water change, moved my protein skimmer back into the main tank, and glued my radioactive dragon eye zoa’s to one of my pieces of live rock.  They’re still pretty mad and all closed up, but I’m hoping that by tomorrow they open back up again.  They have also been brown for a day or two.  I’m doing some research and finding that they may have too much light.  We’ll have to see.

Either way, yay fish tank stuff 😀

Tank Update (Zoanthids and Clownfish)

So today the tank got some new additions!  I picked up a couple of ORA Ocellaris Clown Fish ($30/ea) and two zoanthid frags ($20/ea).  The zoanthids (radio active dragon eye and one other that I’m not quite sure about) are still working on opening up, but the clownies seem to be taking to their new home quite well.  I look forward to adding some more soft coral so they’ve got something to swim through/live in.

Tank Update (Clean Up Crew)

So two days ago (a couple days after using Dr Tim’s One and Only) I had a ton of brown algie growing in the tank, probably from the all the newly growing stuff in the tank.  I did some water tests, and my water looked good, so I went to the store and picked up a clean-up crew.  I got 4 little crabs, 4 glass margarita snails, and 4 nassarius snails.  They’ve been cruising around in the tank the last few days and starting to get everything cleaned up.  I’m going to test my tank again tomorrow and if all looks well, I’ll do a little water change, and throw in some clownies.

I’m excited!

Tank Update (Dr Tim’s One and Only)

Last night on the way home I went to pick up some Dr Tims One and Only and ‘his’ Ammonia solution to get the nitrogen cycle started in the tank.  I’ve currently got that going, and HOPE that it’ll finish by this weekend.  I’ve also been putting a bit of salt directly in the tank to raise the salinity (which would be a HORRIBLE idea if I had any livestock in it).  Last night when I checked before I went to bed, I was up to around 1.020 so we’re getting closer.  Hopefully by tomorrow we’ll be at around 1.023 or so.

Reef Shops in Vegas

Reptiles-N-Reefs
629 North Stephanie Street Henderson, NV 89015
(702) 565-7333

Aquatic Empires
1750 S. Rainbow Blvd. Suite #10 Las Vegas, NV 89146
(702) 410-8065

Blue Reef Aquatics
5960 Losee Rd, North Las Vegas, NV 89081
(702) 252-7333

Saltwater Tank Begins!

So Thursday I decided I was just going to jump in and setup a saltwater tank.  I can read all I want, but until I actually apply what I’ve read and try some stuff, I’ll never really learn.

I was lucky enough to have a buddy (Jim D.) who had two 10 gal tanks that he didn’t use anymore and his wife was trying to get rid of for him.  He was kind enough to just give them to me along with a bunch of other assorted things that were too small for his big tanks.  He gave me two small powerheads, some carbon, a filter, a thermometer, some sand, about 8 gal of  saltwater, 5gal of R.O. water, and a bunch of other assorted stuff.

On the way home from Jim’s house I swung by a saltwater fish store and picked up a light (AquaticLife 20″ T5 HO), a water testing kit (API), some cheesecloth bags for the carbon, about 10 lbs of live rock, and a refractometer.

When I got home started to assemble everything.  First I rinsed off the tank with water from the tap.  Then I washed it out with distilled white vinegar.  Then rinsed it out with R.O. water.  After I toweled it dry, I added the sand, and then filled it about half way with saltwater.  I added my live rock, and then filled the tank the rest of the way.  I threw my lights on and went to add the filter when I realized it was cracked about in half.  Luckily the local pet smart was still open and had some saltwater supplies (fiter, salt, a stupid piece of reflective paper to put behind the tank, etc).  I got home, got all of that rinsed off and in the tank, and now it’s just humming away.

I gave the water a quick test and ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite levels are perfect, but my Ph is low (about 7.4) so I’ll probably have to test again in a couple of days and see if it’s changed at all.  If not, I’ll get some water additives and see what I can do about it.  My salinity is also a bit low (at around 1.017), but I’ll watch the tank for the next couple days and as water evaporates, I’ll fill it up with saltwater to attempt to get that to about where it should be.

Anyways, that’s where it sits now.. Let’s see how long it takes me to murder everything I add to the tank.

Saltwater Aquarium Stuff

I’m looking to get started on a salt water soft coral tank, so I’ll be adding notes here from time to time.  Like THIS!

http://youtu.be/ssfNa3yToik

“‪Reef tank. How to build a low cost 55 gallon 240 litre reef tank‬”

1. The Tank
He used a Fluval Roma 240 63 gal tank. $600 new, $275 used w/shipping. Look around for used gear.

2. Reverse Osmosis Filter
He uses a Viair Reverse Osmosis Water Fileter. $67 new. You’ll need something that removes at least 95% of all dissolved solids

3. Lighting
You’ll want 4-5 watts/gal. New Lights from HOPAR are $200. He used 4 x 54 watt t5 tubes with reflectors. 2 x 10,000k tubes, 1 x 6,000k tube, and 1 x actinic blue tube.

4. The Protein Skimmer
He uses a Primz protein skimmer (hang on tank style). $150 new, $60 used.

5. Understand Phosphates
Keep a bag of phosphate remover in the exit flow of the skimmer from the start. You’ll need to draw water through the remover. He uses a ROWA PHOS for about $12/month.

6. Power Head
He went with a Sunsun power head 1,500 gal/hr. $21 new. Aim it at the glass to deflect and create flow.

7. Live Rock
Don’t use all live rock. Use 80% dead rock and 20% live rock. Dead dry ocean rock is about $3-4/lb, while live rock is $10-14/lb. You want to use about 1lb/rock/gal. Put the smaller live rock pieces on top of the dead rock, the live rock will seed the dead and after a few weeks you will see growth on the dead rock (now live rock). Make sure to watch your water movement, salinity, and temperature before you add the live rock. If you can get it from the store to your tank in 1h or less already, already cured, and keep it warm and wet, providing it doesn’t smell and isn’t slimy, add it straight to the tank. After 48 hours check your ammonia and nitrite levels and if they are near 0, you an add fish.

1-2 fish per week over an 8-10 week period. Feed your fish small amounts, checking your ammonia and nitrite levels, every 48 hours. Remember that feeding your fish feeds your live rock.

Never add live stock too fast or it will die!

Expect to add about one small fish per 8-10 gallons of water.

If your live rock isn’t fresh or has come from the internet, you might need to clean it and cure it without fish for 3 months. Use a higher percent of live rock and feed frozen food until readings are zero

8. Test Kits

If you’re keeping fish only then temp, ammonia, nitrite, and salinity. If you’re adding soft corals then ph, kh, iodide as well. For large stony pollop corals, calcium and magnesium as well

Kroger “5” Razors..

So I was at the store the other day shopping for some replacement blades for my Gillette Fusion razor, and I came across the Kroger brand “5” razors (which is supposed to be the comparable house brand product).  I was excited to find out that they were 1/3rd the cost of the Gillette, but after getting home and shaving, I now know why.  They are absolute crap.  I’ve got to shave at least twice for it to actually cut all of my hair, and even then leaves me far worse than the Gillette brand.

Just a heads up to anyone out there shopping.  They’re MUCH cheaper, but that’s for a reason.

Kids these days..

There have been a few things weighing on my mind recently.  It seems that kids these days are getting lazier and lazier.  Perhaps lazy isn’t the correct word for it;  Perhaps a better word woud be disconnected.  Gone are the days when kids would just go outside and play.  Passed is the time where people would just call another person to have a conversation with them.

It seems like the younger generation would rather stay inside and play video games than go outside and get some exercise or enjoy nature.  Is camping a thing of the past?  Does anyone actually fish anymore, or does everyone just play Bass Pro 2012?  I certainly enjoy a good video game every now and then, I’ve even been known to play them on a daily basis, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy getting outside and enjoying some fresh air.  Unplugging every so often can be a great thing.

People texting all the time is another one of my pet peeves.  Don’t get me wrong, I see the value in a quick text saying “I’ll be home late for dinner” or “Want to hang out later tonight”, but I personally feel that if the current trend continues (of people standing around in a circle with their heads down, texting each other instead of interacting face to face), we’ll all one day end up living in a Wall-e-esque society where nobody actually knows how to communicate face to face anymore.

The last thing I’ve got to rant about is the complete lack of discipline and work ethic I see in kids these days.  While I’m not a parent, and therefor I have no real right to talk on the matter, I feel that the above issues are caused by a general lack of discipline.  Perhaps it’s because today’s new parents grew up in a time where it was alright to hit your kids (to an extent), and they are now saying something to the effect of “well I won’t do that to MY kids”.  I don’t feel like there’s a right or a wrong way to raise kids, but it’s important for children to fear and respect their elders.  Without respect, the whole system breaks down.  Kids disobey their parents, and then feel like they’re entitled to everything.  They get lazy, and don’t truly learn to work.  Then we end up with a thousand groups of lazy idiots, picketing and claiming to be the 99% and feeling like they deserve things like ‘school loan forgiveness’ and ‘higher pay for their entry level positions’.  Ridiculous.

Oh well, what I’ve got to say doesn’t really mean or count for anything, but sometimes you’ve just got to rant.