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andy

Andy's 10 Gallon Experiment

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Hello, I promised to start a tank thread when I had something worth sharing. The ammonia level is starting to drop, which means my tank is on the down-slope of its initial cycle :yahoo:  While not terribly interesting unto itself, that's enough for me... sooo... Tank Thread!

 

I'm cycling the tank with Dr. Tims One & Only. So far, so good I guess.

 

There's 8 pounds of dry rock in there, bought from Ocean in a Box here in The 'Couve. The substrate is well-aged, very well washed aragonite left over from my old tank. Yes, I know many people insist this is a bad idea. No, I don't agree.

 

The tank will be a medium nutrient LPS tank, right up until the inevitable point where I buy a Red Planet or a Pearlberry, at which time it will become a medium nutrient mixed reef. It will also become much more frustrating.

 

I'm going to run skimmerless. At least I will until the SPS shows up in the tank. Once that happens, I'll try and abandon several nano skimmers before finally upgrading to a larger tank with a sump. And a real skimmer. With a cool DC motor, a controller, and an alimony payment.

 

I've got an Aquaclear 30 HOB filter on there now, helping with circulation. Once the cycle stops, I'll put in the carbon cartridge and a bag of Seachem Purigen. There's also a Maxi-Jet 600 stirring things up. I'm partial to expensive German things, so I'll probably upgrade to a Tunze NanoStream one of these days. For now, I am the ATO, but I'm eyeballing the Hydor ATO -- I like the no-moving-parts idea... I had too many water-on-floor incidents with traditional float-switch ATOs last time around. Damned snails.

 

Currently, the tank is lit with a single-bulb T-10 fixture off a 20 gallon tank. That'll have to change pretty soon. I'll go LED, since I've used MH before and have the scars... both figurative (on my wallet! Bulbs! Heat! Evaporation!) and literal (On my arms! Burns!). I'm leaning towards a Kessil A160 Tuna Blue ("Tuna Blue"? Porn-star name <ahem>) but the Nanobox Tide looks pretty sweet too. I'm worried about disco lights from the Nanobox...

 

Anyways, on to the first FTS:

 

February 23rd, 2015:

 

16442995060_cb30ffdcd8_o.jpg

 

 

 

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Today, the UPS guy brought me a present. This is one thing that's WAY, WAY better now than when I got out of the hobby a few years ago:

 

16630001605_72fe16f70c_o.jpg

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 Best of luck with your project Andy! You are working with some very well established brands of equipment. I remember when Milwaukee first appeared on the market following Pinpoint monitors. There have been many advances in the short 3 years I have been away from the hobby. I am somewhat familiar with Timothy Hovanec's work years ago with studies with biological filtration. He seems to have quite an extensive line of products that I would tend to trust, even though I have not used any myself. The Hydor ATO looks very interesting. I have been cautious of controllers due to some mishaps over the years, but the are looking more dependable these days. I know first hand what a snail can do! It's amazing how one snail can cause so much water to end up on the floor! haha! Please keep us posted with your findings and how you are managing nutrient control.

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Thanks John. I like a lot of what Hovanec says, particularly regarding marine vs. freshwater nitrifying bacteria -- it makes a lot of sense to me. It certainly could be hogwash, but at least it is *plausible* hogwash (which is something a lot of the snake oil in the hobby can't seem to pull off  ;) )

 

I was pretty satisfied with my previous controller, but I monitored it very closely. They're almost a hobby unto themselves. 

 

And yeah, Pearlberry!

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Looks good so far!

 

Excellent choice on the MW salinity refractometer, I love mine, definitely worth the investment.

 

There are lots of good nano leds these days, just depends on how much you want to spend. I have one diy one I made for about $30 that would work great on that tank. Although, the kessil would be a great choice or maybe a hydra 26 or radion nano. There are also a plethora of Chinese fixtures these days that do a great job too, eBay is your friend lol!

 

Good to see another Couve reefer! Hit me up for frags when the tanks ready :D

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Very nice clean set up Andy. Going smaller this time I see.  I used the Dr. Tim's products to start my tank cycles as well as some of the school tanks and felt like it helped the process go quicker and more smoothly. The cycling process is still the least favorite part to me of a new tank set up.

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Amen. I told myself when I was planning this tank that I'd just set it up and let it cycle for a month, without checking params. Slow and easy.

 

It hasn't worked out that way. It's a good thing the Red Sea ammonia test kit has enough reagents for a hundred tests  :nutty:

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Man, I hate test kits where you have to differentiate between 8 shades of light green to make the reading. If I do the test sample to card comparison in the kitchen, I've hit zero ammonia. In the dining room I'm at a very light 0.2

 

Patience is not my strong suit. I might be rounding down tomorrow.

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I didn't know they made an ammonia tester -- that's really cool. Unfortunately, you really only need ammonia testing for a few weeks when bringing up a new tank. Once it has cycled, you probably wont need the tester again... unless things go really bad.

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Nitrate was zero today, so time to stock a bit -- added 5 cerith and 5 nassarius snails, and a Firefish. Also added a bag of Purigen to the HOB filter.

 

Lots of pics coming, LadySaber. Just got to get my fish-photo techniques dialed back in.

Edited by andy

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Jason at Ocean in a Box just set up a group of Kessil 360s over the SPS rimless display tank he's building, and he let me play with them and their controller. I was very impressed. They're really well built and the the controller is pretty cool too. I think I'll probably go with an A160 on my tank.

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I ended up with OR T247 on mine ;) yeah alittle over kill but I figered I would want to upgrade (yes already have a 29 gallon sitting on my floor, just waiting to get a stand for it) I wouldnt have to worry about buying a larger light for the larger tank. I really enjoy the OR would love a Kessil but I will admit they are a little over my price budget. Oh I was looking at the firefish to for mine but didnt get one I got my first LPS instead :D  Next month will have to add one I was thinking the purple firefish though..

Edited by LadySaber
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