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Darrell's 20 gallon glass nano


darrellw
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This is a continuation of my DIY thread on building my sump, glass cube and stand:

 

http://www.pnwmas.org/forums/showthread.php?t=9655

 

 

Anyway, since I put my rock and sand in yesterday, I thought I should start a thread here now.

 

Hardware:

 

17" x 17" x 18" deep home-built glass cube, 3/8" thick, starphire on the two viewing panels (~20 gallons), rimless with black silicone

14" PFO Solaris I5 LED light

Home-built glass sump (~10 gallons)

Eheim 1250 return pump

100 watt heater (50 watt couldn't keep up)

Tunze 9002 Nano DOC skimmer

VorTech MP20

Glass-holes.com Super Nano overflow

Mechanical ATO system

 

Yesterday I added 30 lbs of well-cured live rock (from Seahorse), and 20 lbs of black "live" sand.

 

My daughter and I spend about 20 minutes at Seahorse building the rock, and even took a picture of what we came up with. Of course, when we got home we couldn't exactly recreate what we came up with!

 

I also discovered that I either need to move my VorTech up a bit, or turn it down a bit (it is currently in lagoon mode at 100%), or maybe both as this morning the sand had re-arranged itself.

 

I did my first tests today, and came up with:

 

SG: 1.024

pH: 8.4

ammonia: 0

nitrite: 0

nitrate: 0

 

Quick question, since the rock was well cured, if I don't start to see any ammonia, nitrite or nitrate, should I add "something" to make sure I have an active biofilter? Or if I don't see anything in a week is it OK to start adding livestock?

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I like the tank. Youve done an excellent job. Your equipment list is quite impressive as well, but whats with that light fixture...Its(hitme)...:D

 

Keep up the good work

 

As for livestock, be patient. I know its difficult, but it will pay off in the end. Try a birdsnest frag or something easy like that to start and keep testing!

 

What kind of livestock are you planning on putting in there?

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I like the tank. Youve done an excellent job. Your equipment list is quite impressive as well, but whats with that light fixture...Its(hitme)...:D

 

Keep up the good work

 

As for livestock, be patient. I know its difficult, but it will pay off in the end. Try a birdsnest frag or something easy like that to start and keep testing!

 

What kind of livestock are you planning on putting in there?

 

Livestock plans right now are some zoas and rics, a frogspawn, torch or hammer, a clown goby, a clown fish or pair, and maybe a banded coral shrimp. Along with some snails, and a few hermits (I know they don't have the best rep, but I like them). Maybe a xenia, perhaps in place of the frogspawn/torch/hammer. My daughter saw one at Seahorse yesterday she really liked.

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Yesterday I built a top for the tank. I really like the open top, but I don't want to lose any fish to "carpet surfing", have two very curious cats, and even the 100W heater was only keeping the temp at 75 (the room runs in the lower 60s this time of year). The top was less than $20 in materials at Tap Plastics. They cut the two panels (12" x 16 and 4" x 16"), and I bought 7 1" x 1" squares, two hinges and the handle. I already had solvent from building my ATO container. The had a solid, continuous hinge material that I was going to use, but it was so stiff that I didn't think the top would stay open. Note I took the picture with the moonlights on, but also the room lights, which are causing the pinkish tinge.

 

I also isolated one of my major sources of noise, my return pump's vibration was causing a resonation in the glass sump. I added some rubber feet that I had on hand, and that helped a lot. Also, my skimmer seem to be quieting down (still nothing to pull out of the tank).

 

I moved my VorTech up an inch or two, and dialed it back to about 75%, and now my sand is staying in place.

 

Lastly, some closeups of the rockwork under the moonlights.

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Rock work is very nice under moon light. How much were your lights.

 

$935

 

Which ends up being about 1/2 off my total system hardware cost. But it uses about half the electricity of an equivalent MH, and should last for 10 years before the light degrades (would need to replace the MH bulb every 9-12 months at ~$50 a pop for a quality bulb), so that helps offset some of the cost. Plus it is much more flexible, with the timer controls and ability to adjust the color temp and light intensity.

 

-Darrell

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Getting closer...bet you are starting to feel like(scary)

 

Nah, just anxious. All the time building the tank and stuff I couldn't wait to get the rock in. Now it is killing me to wait a few weeks to start adding some "life". Hopefully some thing will appear out of my rocks in the meantime to keep me occupied!

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^very smart approach. i am glad to see that you are taking your time. even i have troubles with this. i will get something new and want to put it in my tank for viewing without even acclimating. but....we need to slow things down a little to be successful. very nice build. excited to see it. those moonlights look like super black lights. i wonder what the corals will look like just under them. crazy...

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So, not much exciting waiting for the tank to cycle, but I did see my first sign of life yesterday, a little bristly worm. He was out and about, but got camera shy once I got my camera, so I didn't get much of a picture. If you squint you can kind of see him.

 

The first 3 days after adding the rock showed no ammonia, nitrite or nitrate. Then I was out of town for a couple of days, and returned to see a golden-brown covering on my rock (diatoms, I presume?). The first day back my ammonia tested at 0.25 PPM, but went back to 0 the next day. Nitrite and nitrate still have not registered. I think I'm seeing the starts of some green hair algae. There are definitely some small branching threads growing, but they are too small and thin to see if they are green. I've also found three things that looks like (and are about the size of) freshwater hydras. I assume they are either hydriods or apistasia, but I'm not even sure if they are alive, as the only motion I can see looks like the current.

 

Anyway, if all my parameters hold, I'm considering adding a couple of hermits and a few snails this weekend. Is that too soon?

 

Here is a FTS from yesterday, and the worm.

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With those parameters I would go ahead and add a few of each. You may even want to get a small fish in there. Something that is tolerant and you wont mind having for a while. This should help speed things up and imo your tank should be at a point where it can handle a fish and some cleanup crew.

 

By the way I have been following your thread and must say that I am extremely impressed thus far. Well thought out and very nice looking setup. It iwll be fun to see it progress.

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With those parameters I would go ahead and add a few of each. You may even want to get a small fish in there. Something that is tolerant and you wont mind having for a while. This should help speed things up and imo your tank should be at a point where it can handle a fish and some cleanup crew.

 

By the way I have been following your thread and must say that I am extremely impressed thus far. Well thought out and very nice looking setup. It iwll be fun to see it progress.

 

Hi Garrett,

 

Thanks for the kind words!

 

As far as fish, my plans were a clownfish (or pair), some sort of clown goby, and maybe a Royal Gramma. Would any of those fit the bill?

 

-Darrell

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