NEED EXPERIENCED HELP - new tank

Chandlersmith

New member
Hello all!

My name is Chandler Smith! I'm 20 and new to the reef hobby! I've recently set up my first saltwater tank. (Desc. Below)

Size: 40 gallon breeder

Filter: 2 fluval 50 aquaclear HOB filters

Skimmer: OCTO classic bh-1000 HOB

Heater: aqueon 150 watt
Flow: aqueon 700

Lighting: Fluval SEA 25000K 46 watt

Water: Tap conditioned with seachem PRIME - specific gravity: 1.022 (working on getting it higher)

Salt: basic instant ocean

Stock: live rock and live sand from LFS



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So the tank has been running for one full week, I did a 10% water change at the 1 week mark. I'm just curious and concerned as to how I'm doing so far. I will post pictures of my tank AND my levels from my TEST KIT. Please please give me feed back and help guide this new reefer to success. My levels in the tank are a bit weird I think.










 

billdogg

Active member
It sounds to me like you are off to a good (enough) start. As mentioned above - you and your tank will be much better served by using RO/DI water - most LFS will sell it, but you will be much further ahead by buying your own unit. Bulk Reef Supply, Spectrapure, and my go-to for all things ro/di www.buckeyehydro.com all have very affordable units that can be mounted in a permanent location or easily used as a temp hook up to your kitchen sink.

Plan on another 3 weeks or so to get near the end of your basic cycle. In the meantime, purchase yourself a 10 or 20g tank from petco at their almost continual $1/g sale to use as a quarantine tank and put your first fish or two in it so that when your main tank has, indeed, cycled, your fish will be done with their (IMO mandatory) QT period.

I wouldn't bother with another water change until you are near the end of the cycle - there really is no need at this point

To bump up the salinity, just use saltwater as your topoff water until you hit 1.024-1.026 and then switch to fresh ro/di from then on to make up for evaporation.

I would suggest moving the rocks in just a bit from the glass to make cleaning it easier. Otherwise I like the design.

Good Job, and Welcome to the hobby!!!
 

Ron Reefman

New member
Your ammonia is up which is the first step in the cycle. So it looks like a good start. Move rocks to leave at least a a few inches. Too close to the glass and the cleaner can't get past it and if you try to grow coral on it, it will end up even closer!
 

Chandlersmith

New member
It sounds to me like you are off to a good (enough) start. As mentioned above - you and your tank will be much better served by using RO/DI water - most LFS will sell it, but you will be much further ahead by buying your own unit. Bulk Reef Supply, Spectrapure, and my go-to for all things ro/di www.buckeyehydro.com all have very affordable units that can be mounted in a permanent location or easily used as a temp hook up to your kitchen sink.

Plan on another 3 weeks or so to get near the end of your basic cycle. In the meantime, purchase yourself a 10 or 20g tank from petco at their almost continual $1/g sale to use as a quarantine tank and put your first fish or two in it so that when your main tank has, indeed, cycled, your fish will be done with their (IMO mandatory) QT period.

I wouldn't bother with another water change until you are near the end of the cycle - there really is no need at this point

To bump up the salinity, just use saltwater as your topoff water until you hit 1.024-1.026 and then switch to fresh ro/di from then on to make up for evaporation.

I would suggest moving the rocks in just a bit from the glass to make cleaning it easier. Otherwise I like the design.

Good Job, and Welcome to the hobby!!!



Thank you so much for taking time to respond! I moved my rocks closer to the center. Also last week I ordered an RO/DI unit so it should be on the way. Thank you again!
 

CindyK

New member
+1 to everything above. I do like your rockscape, nice and open. That rock to the left front of the pic is going to cause problems when it's time to clean the glass as others have stated, unfortunately. Get a RO/DI system or buy your water from the LFS (local fish store) and you will be off to a great start. Tap water, even when treated, will cause all sorts of algae problems, sad corals and fish due to the phosphates, chlorine and other nasty stuff in it.

Welcome :)
 

chrisfont23

Reef Monster
Looks good and lots of good advice. If you dont want to move the rocks off the glass... FWIW, I have rocks up against the sides and back of the tank especially to promote the corals (mainly zoanthids and GSPs) to grow up the walls of the tank. Real cool looking. I actually had half a back draped with GSPs for a while with my 29g. Yes - it's a pain to clean, but you get used to it.
 

schnebbles

New member
What are you running in the AC's?

And, on the subject of water, is RO ok? Or does it have to be RO/DI? I get free RO but not sure if it's DI.
 

Ron Reefman

New member
OK, I'm dumb enough to ask... what are AC's?

RO, if it is low TDS is OK. RO/DI should be zero TDS and obviously better. Some people (especially here at RC) are really particular about TDS levels. But the issue is, what is the cause of the TDS and most of the time, by a huge percentage, it's stuff that isn't an issue. I had a friend who used well water with a TDS of over 100 and had a 220g tank that had everything from zoas to sps. He had some algae, but it wasn't a big deal.

You can get a TDS meter cheap (under $20) and you will use it a lot if you start to make your own water.
 

Green Chromis

New member
:fish1: Hi Chandler, You need to get a RO/DI unit for your tank, the trouble with tap water or RO water is the TDS in the water, you won't know what the TDS are unless you send it to a lab. The TDS in the water, may not be harmful, but you will never know for sure, and they will continue to accumulate in the system every time you do a water change or add top off water, which might lead to algae, and other problems. As far as the AC, again what are you using in the AC units in regards to filtration? They can become Nitrate factories if not properly maintained. :fish1:
 

Ron Reefman

New member
The TDS in the water, may not be harmful, but you will never know for sure, and they will continue to accumulate in the system every time you do a water change or add top off water, which might lead to algae, and other problems.

Just a note, if you are doing a water change, you are taking out old water which has had some top off water added since the last water change. So yes, the TDS may have accumulated in the tank. But the new water change water will be lower in these TDS elements and likely you will be removing them, not adding them (unless they are binding with something else in the tank). And the odds of any TDS from city water that has been through an RO membrane being harmful is quite small IMHO. Especially to a new tank.
 

Preble

New member
Sounds good so far, but with your HOB filters, I would get rid of the filter pads maybe fill them up with rock rubble. I've had 2 tanks with hob filters, and I have been more successful with rock rubble in the filter.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Chandlersmith

New member
:fish1: Hi Chandler, You need to get a RO/DI unit for your tank, the trouble with tap water or RO water is the TDS in the water, you won't know what the TDS are unless you send it to a lab. The TDS in the water, may not be harmful, but you will never know for sure, and they will continue to accumulate in the system every time you do a water change or add top off water, which might lead to algae, and other problems. As far as the AC, again what are you using in the AC units in regards to filtration? They can become Nitrate factories if not properly maintained. :fish1:

By saying AC Assume you mean the filters and I'm running activated carbon, a foam pad and biomax ceramics in each one of them. Thoughts?
 

Chandlersmith

New member
Sounds good so far, but with your HOB filters, I would get rid of the filter pads maybe fill them up with rock rubble. I've had 2 tanks with hob filters, and I have been more successful with rock rubble in the filter.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


Do you mean take the foam pad out and where it would normally be put a mesh bag of live rock rubble or just any old rock rubble so I'm a noob.
 

Green Chromis

New member
Just a note, if you are doing a water change, you are taking out old water which has had some top off water added since the last water change. So yes, the TDS may have accumulated in the tank. But the new water change water will be lower in these TDS elements and likely you will be removing them, not adding them (unless they are binding with something else in the tank). And the odds of any TDS from city water that has been through an RO membrane being harmful is quite small IMHO. Especially to a new tank.

:fish1: You really not taking out TDS, if you are adding water, with high TDS back into the system. Ron, besides you have no idea, as to TDS you are adding to the system, they could be accumulating in the sand, or rock. :fish1:
 

Snorkel79

New member
I would not use tap water. The amount of things added to it, not to mention whats flushed through pipes to keep them clean will eventually lead to issues. Tap water quality changes frequently.

Ro/Di is the best
Distilled can be used as the majority of companies don't use copper piping now
RO - depending on source

I agree, there is no need to do water changes until the end of the cycle. Looks like your cycle has started. Now it's about waiting but this is a good time for researching and planning the tank :)

I like your aquascape!
 

Bishopsnet

New member
Your ammonia is up which is the first step in the cycle. So it looks like a good start. Move rocks to leave at least a a few inches. Too close to the glass and the cleaner can't get past it and if you try to grow coral on it, it will end up even closer!

I just started my cycle yesterday. I saw this and moved my rocks. Thank you!

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