My 55g reef build.

JoeVandal49

New member
Hello Reef Central.

Just registered after lurking on and off for years as i dreamed about having a reef tank.

My tank is currently 1 week into cycling.

I have a couple hitchhikers on my live rock, which is pretty exciting for a new reefer like myself.

I believe i have ID'd them, but just want confirmation.

Ill post a full tank shot once i have all my rock work done and my LED lighting arrives later this week.

Sorry for the low quality pics. Im no photographer, and curently only have a compact flouresent bulb over the tank just to view until my LED's arrive.

This is going to be a KISS tank as far as mechanics go. HOB refugium, and HOB protein skimmer will be added (as soon as i decide what models).

anyways ill share more details on the tank once i get all the equipment in and running.

Here are the hitchhikers.

This looks like a bristle worm to me? i have seen about 4 of these so far.
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And this coral appears to be a sort of star polyp? But im not sure. The base is a pink, and the little heads are white in color. Each head has slowly opened over the last two days.

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I also had a couple of snails and a yellow tip hermit hitch a ride in.

Thanks RC!
 

JoeVandal49

New member
Im 99% sure the worm is a bristleworm.

But the Coral im not certain, i think its a star polyp, but any confirmation would be awesome.

Thanks RC!
 

JoeVandal49

New member
Ok, it appears i have my ID's correct.

Question-
I have heard some horror stories about star polys taking over. Im considering breaking the chunk off the rock this is attached to and fragging it right now to control the size and position it stays in the tank. Would this be a good idea or should i let it be?
 

NWoods

New member
Yup, the worm is a bristle worm. I had one as a hitch-hiker in my live rock. They'll multiply pretty quickly. Just be sure to wear gloves while handling the rock.
 

JoeVandal49

New member
This Crab came on a Orange/green Zoa colony i picked up.

Any ideas? he seems to be harmelss so far. He seems to hang on the rock at the base of the zoa colony eating algae. He is covered in coraline and algae growth, but below the growth seems to be a light blue color.

The Zoas are closed because i had just put them in the tank. They all opened up within a couple hours of sticking them in the tank.

Sorry for the low quality pics.

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SaltyTony

New member
Not to be a bearer of bad news but since your tank is still cycling, the cycling process will likely kill the hitch hikers.
 

JoeVandal49

New member
Hey RC.

Question about my cycle.

Info regarding my cycle- Using an API test kit, expires 2018. Purchased all fully cured live rock from LFS. Live rock had been cured for at least 4 months prior to my purchase, most of it had probably been cured for 6+months.

I used 40 pounds dry sand, and 20 pounds CaribSea sand.

So my Amonia levels peaked at about .50 ppm and maintained that level for about 4 days. This weekend it began its decline and seems to have almost bottomed out to 0 today.

I have had nitrite readings of 0ppm the entire cycle thus far.

My Nitrate level is now at 5.0 ppm.

Does this seem par for the course with a fully cured live rock cycle?

I have Diotoms growing like crazy for the last 4 days or so, slowly engulfing my entire sandbed.

All hitchhikers that came on the live rock seem fine.

I was just really confused by not seeing any nitrite spike at all. Im also wondering if its time to start putting in some CUC with the diotom bloom.

Thanks for any advice RC. You guys are great.
 

MinnFish

New member
You might have missed your nitrite spike and decline. Too soon to add any livestock. I would ghost feed for a week or so. And check your parameters regularly while ghost feeding. Good luck and happy reefkeeping.
 

JoeVandal49

New member
You might have missed your nitrite spike and decline. Too soon to add any livestock. I would ghost feed for a week or so. And check your parameters regularly while ghost feeding. Good luck and happy reefkeeping.

How quickly would it spike and decline? I have been testing every other day and nitrites have remained 0. I was just testing for Amonia and Nitrites though. Amonia has fluctuated up and down, but stayed pretty steadily between .25 and .5 ppm. When i saw the amonia decline drastically i decided i should test for nitrates and they tested at 5.0 ppm.
 

stingeragent

New member
I had a similar cycle as yours or a lack there of rather. Im a noob but I wouldnt ghost feed. Id just let it ride for a couple weeks.
 

SaltyTony

New member
If you do not ghost feed, you are giving nothing for that bacteria to break down and they will not increase in population which is needed for when you add livestock. The diatoms will come and go so just rude it out.
 

JoeVandal49

New member
If you do not ghost feed, you are giving nothing for that bacteria to break down and they will not increase in population which is needed for when you add livestock. The diatoms will come and go so just rude it out.

I ghost fed for the first week, a small pinch daily of flakes, and then stopped. How long should ghost feeding be continued?
 

MinnFish

New member
Try elevating your ammonia to 3 ppm (either by adding a raw shrimp or pure ammonia). Pull shrimp or stop dosing ammonia. If, after 24 hours there are no ammonia or nitrites. Then, you are cycled.
 

JoeVandal49

New member
Try elevating your ammonia to 3 ppm (either by adding a raw shrimp or pure ammonia). Pull shrimp or stop dosing ammonia. If, after 24 hours there are no ammonia or nitrites. Then, you are cycled.

thanks for the advice minnfish! Thanks everyone else as well. If anyone has anything else additional to add please do.
 
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JoeVandal49

New member
So with my tank cycled levels stable and first fish added, i decided to share a few pics.

I settled on this two island aquascape. not perfect, but im happy with it for my first aquarium setup.

Had crazy amount of diotom growth for about a week, and now its starting to go away, or atleast seems to be. Have some algae growth as well, but the hermits, emerald, and tail spot blenny all seem to be grazing non stop and seem to be putting a dent into it, or atleast keeping it in check some what.

Im planning on adding another powerhead this weekend. Also going to be adding a hand on back refugium, and also a HOB protein skimmer. Any suggestions for a quality, but affordable skimmer for a 55g? I know those things dont necessarily come together, but im planning on searching for used, or just keeping an eye out for a deal. still also need to add a background. Im planning on keeping this first setup as basic as possible being my first ever aquarium period. No fresh water experience or anything either, although i have built several Vivariums for dart frogs in the past(not even remotely the same).

On to the pics.

Full tank shot.
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left island
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right island
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I fragged the hitchhiker star polips off a piece of main rock. The polips themselves seem to be growing slowly.
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My tailspot blenny. He is usually grazing, but didnt seem to like me taking pics so he retreated to his hole.
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my zoa colony. I beleive they are bam bams, but who knows... i gave up trying to ID zoas. they look good as is in pic, but They looks rad under the blues and moonlight leds.
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I do have a question for anyone that may have an answer. The zoa colony also has some polyps that look t\like the oranges on the outside, but have green centers. you can see a couple in these pics, but there are even more on the backside. Is this two different colonies, or what is going on with the two different color centers? Curious for any answers.
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Not planning on adding any more livestock for a month or so to make sure everything stays where it should be. Might add another zoa colony in a couple weeks. Just wanted to share some of my journey.

Thanks for looking!
 
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