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.
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.
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.
629 North Stephanie Street Henderson, NV 89015
1750 S. Rainbow Blvd. Suite #10 Las Vegas, NV 89146
Blue Reef Aquatics
5960 Losee Rd, North Las Vegas, NV 89081
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.
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!
“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
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