View Full Version : tlhood's first tank - 34g RSM 130D

01-07-2014, 07:12 PM
Hey all! I thought I would start a tank journal, as I get the impression that my friends and coworkers are getting annoyed by the constant bombardment of snail pictures. I just recently got into the hobby after a friend of mine set up her reef tank over the summer. She had wanted one for a long time, and introduced me to the joys of reef keeping (although I have no corals yet) and the sadness of empty wallets.

Since I'm still a student, living at home, and working a crappy barista job, I didn't want to start with something super expensive. Perusing the interwebs and forums, most of the tanks I saw were ginormous and had sumps, which I didn't feel comfortable starting with. I then saw the "Plug and Play" option, and started hunting for a gently used affordable piece. It took about a month, but a gentleman in town saw my add and I ended up getting a 6 month old RSM 130D and the matching stand for a total steal. The only parts I've had to replace so far are the lights.

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y224/tabkatz/Facebook/The%20Aquarium/960038_10152039444433745_313291385_n.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/user/tabkatz/media/Facebook/The%20Aquarium/960038_10152039444433745_313291385_n.jpg.html)

First problem: How to get the tank home. I drive a little Mazda, and it was sketchy for a moment on whether or not I'd actually be able to get the tank home in one trip. It must have been hilarious for the neighbours to watch. We first tried putting the tank in the trunk, but although there was enough space, the actual opening was too narrow. So we tried the back seat. The bottom of the back door narrowed too, and we couldn't squeeze the darn thing in. Then I had a brilliant light bulb moment. We flattened my front passenger seat, and angled the tank in through the front and pushed it over the seat into the back behind the drivers side. We followed a similar technique with the stand, which ended up barely carving a hole into my dashboard and balanced precariously on the passenger seat. Good thing my friend bailed on me, or he would of had to sit on the roof :razz:

Got everything home safely, both tank, stand, and car intact.

I decided to buy an RO/DI unit for two reasons. The first being that I'm too lazy to go to the store and get water there, and because it's cheaper in the long run, apparently. I bought mine off aquasafecanada. Shipping was great, packaged nicely, and I was also able to buy an aerator adapter so I wouldn't have to hack into the cold water line of my moms house. Little did I know...

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y224/tabkatz/Facebook/The%20Aquarium/photo.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/user/tabkatz/media/Facebook/The%20Aquarium/photo.jpg.html)

Problem 2: Faucet aerators are the devil.
Apparently certain faucets have aerators that need keys, and after severely scarring the one upstairs where the tank was, I decided I would have to go another route. I ended up ordering a T compression valve from Auqasafe. I tried to find one at Home Depot, but they didn't have the size I was looking for, and I swear I knew more about plumbing than the guy that was helping me. I got the part in just under a week. The entire time I was installing the RO/DI, I kept hearing "You better not flood my house!!!!". The result:

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y224/tabkatz/Facebook/The%20Aquarium/1412459_10152104405568745_1667781400_o.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/user/tabkatz/media/Facebook/The%20Aquarium/1412459_10152104405568745_1667781400_o.jpg.html)

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y224/tabkatz/Facebook/The%20Aquarium/1412486_10152104406158745_1940725066_o.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/user/tabkatz/media/Facebook/The%20Aquarium/1412486_10152104406158745_1940725066_o.jpg.html)

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y224/tabkatz/Facebook/The%20Aquarium/1401518_10152104406178745_1259957169_o.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/user/tabkatz/media/Facebook/The%20Aquarium/1401518_10152104406178745_1259957169_o.jpg.html)

Problem 3: It was leaking under the counter.

After an hour of trying to figure out why the tube kept leaking, I remembered a small plastic insert that came out of the tube when I was trying to connect it to the aerator. I plopped that back in and took off the Teflon tape and tada! No more leaks.

I bought 20lbs of rock from a woman across town, and 8lbs from Wai's on 16th.
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y224/tabkatz/Facebook/The%20Aquarium/photo4.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/user/tabkatz/media/Facebook/The%20Aquarium/photo4.jpg.html)

After rearranging the rocks a billion times, I settled on a structure and started to cycle the tank. I didn't want to add any livestock until after the holidays as I was going to be away for a week, and I didn't want anything to go wrong. I did, however, get some algae bloom before I left which I was probably way too excited about.

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y224/tabkatz/Facebook/The%20Aquarium/photo5.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/user/tabkatz/media/Facebook/The%20Aquarium/photo5.jpg.html)

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y224/tabkatz/Facebook/The%20Aquarium/1523907_10152139868528745_1322351089_o.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/user/tabkatz/media/Facebook/The%20Aquarium/1523907_10152139868528745_1322351089_o.jpg.html)

01-07-2014, 07:41 PM
In addition to replacing the lightbulbs, I replaced the heater with a 150W Eheim.

After the holidays, I stopped by Big Al's and Pisces. I was looking for replacement bulbs and thought I would participate in the Boxing Day sales. Unfortunately, no one seemed to have the stock bulbs for the RSM, and I had to order them online. Speaking of which, they are supposed to be delivered today, making it about 11 days since I ordered them from Big Al's online. Hopefully they aren't frozen and busted.

I purchased a couple Scarlet Hermits from Pisces, along with a few Astrea snails, and I bought two Nerite snails from Big Al's. I drip acclimate everything religiously, even though I've heard some people say you can just plop snails in. To my disappointment, and what seems to be a recurring theme, the snails I bought from Big Al's died. I later went back to Big Al's to get some Cerith snails since Pisces didn't have any, and of the three only one survived. I did get a super speedy Nassarius from Big Al's which survived, and is probably one of my favourites in the tank so far. I get attached to things really fast, and was bummed that I already lost so many snails. I fixed my sadness by naming my remaining dudes. Hermits are Herman and Hubert, the Nassarius is Scooter, and the Cerith is being referred to by myself and my mom as "the little black one".

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y224/tabkatz/Facebook/The%20Aquarium/photo7.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/user/tabkatz/media/Facebook/The%20Aquarium/photo7.jpg.html)
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y224/tabkatz/Facebook/The%20Aquarium/photo8.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/user/tabkatz/media/Facebook/The%20Aquarium/photo8.jpg.html)
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y224/tabkatz/Facebook/The%20Aquarium/photo9.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/user/tabkatz/media/Facebook/The%20Aquarium/photo9.jpg.html)

They have been in the tank just over a week.

A few nights ago I was passing the tank and literally freaked out. THIS was sitting on a rock staring into my soul.

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y224/tabkatz/Facebook/The%20Aquarium/tankk035.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/user/tabkatz/media/Facebook/The%20Aquarium/tankk035.jpg.html)

Some suggested it was a porcelain crab, which apparently hitched a ride from Wai's. It doesn't really matter what it was now, as I found its body and insides splayed across my sandbed yesterday. He either died from starvation, or Hubert killed him.

I bought a little 2g Fluval to serve as a QT tank, and set up shop for my newest additions, two black ocellaris.

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y224/tabkatz/Facebook/The%20Aquarium/tankk061.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/user/tabkatz/media/Facebook/The%20Aquarium/tankk061.jpg.html)

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y224/tabkatz/Facebook/The%20Aquarium/photo10.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/user/tabkatz/media/Facebook/The%20Aquarium/photo10.jpg.html)

And here are some pictures of my crew that assists in water changes and tank inspection.

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y224/tabkatz/Facebook/The%20Aquarium/906531_10152139865598745_696552517_o.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/user/tabkatz/media/Facebook/The%20Aquarium/906531_10152139865598745_696552517_o.jpg.html)
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y224/tabkatz/Facebook/The%20Aquarium/906531_10152139865593745_897243352_o.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/user/tabkatz/media/Facebook/The%20Aquarium/906531_10152139865593745_897243352_o.jpg.html)
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y224/tabkatz/Facebook/The%20Aquarium/tankk047.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/user/tabkatz/media/Facebook/The%20Aquarium/tankk047.jpg.html)

01-07-2014, 07:53 PM
looking great .
good call on geting yourself an RODI ,

your story remind me of my first salt tank .. picked up a JBJ nano in the girlfriends CRX lol was a hoot ..

01-07-2014, 09:11 PM

I looked at your tank thread, looking good!

I just got my lights, one of them was cracked and didn't light =[ But at least I have one of the old bulbs and a new bulb that work. It would be nice to find someone in town who sells the bulbs I need so that I don't have to ship them from ON.

03-11-2014, 12:25 AM
The "Lepto" – Has darkened consciderably. Since I don’t know what it is, it’s tough to tell what colour it is actually supposed to be… Is it supposed to be this dark tan ish colour, or does it need more light? The flesh has started growing down the sides, and under the edge.
January 20ish
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y224/tabkatz/006.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/user/tabkatz/media/006.jpg.html)
March 10
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y224/tabkatz/corals152.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/user/tabkatz/media/corals152.jpg.html)
Monti 1 – When I got it is was a sad little brown decaying thing. Trimmed it up and band-aided the receded base. Growing well.
January 20ish
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y224/tabkatz/015.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/user/tabkatz/media/015.jpg.html)
March 10
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y224/tabkatz/corals155.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/user/tabkatz/media/corals155.jpg.html)
The “Fungia” – Has grown, now has a neon green hue to it, and eats like a pig.
Jan. 20ish
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y224/tabkatz/007.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/user/tabkatz/media/007.jpg.html)
March 10
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y224/tabkatz/coral2004.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/user/tabkatz/media/coral2004.jpg.html)
The favia
Jan 20
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y224/tabkatz/011.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/user/tabkatz/media/011.jpg.html)
March 10
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y224/tabkatz/corals157.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/user/tabkatz/media/corals157.jpg.html)

07-10-2014, 11:27 PM
Here is a current FTS of my RSM 130D. The GHA, diatom, and cyano blooms from February and March are over, and everything is nice and clean. I also trimmed my garden of banana algae on the back of my base rock. I have started running GFO (given to me by riceboy) to try to help resolve my phosphate problems.

Currently the only coral that I am having a lot of trouble with re: colour is the pink birdsnest, and the bird of paradise could be more vibrant too.

I received the two toadstools and the blue mushroom (center rock at the front) from tobysmurf on Tuesday. The toadstools are currently shedding a bit, but are getting used to the tank nicely.

I decided I wanted more versatility with colour ratios and brightness in the tank, so I pulled out the stock t5's and installed the Rapid LED DIY retrofit kit, and the Storm controller. All was well for about a month, but unfortunately, the controller I received was a dud, and I am currently waiting on Coralux to send me a new one.

Because of the controller issues, my LEDs are at max, and I can't control the ratios :cry:.

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y224/tabkatz/AquariumJuly10350.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/user/tabkatz/media/AquariumJuly10350.jpg.html)

Current Stock:

2 Black and white clowns
1 purple firefish
1 yellow watchman goby
1 sapphire damsel

5 narites
3 astrea
1 cerith
1 fighting conch
1 nassarius
5 red hermits
2 porcelain crabs

red maze
green and purple favia
green monti cap
red monti caps
blue mushroom
two toadstools
purple/tan and green torch
spacemonster zoas
purple and green zoas
green button polyps
bird of paradise sps
pink birdsnest sps
small plate-like coral thing
leptoseris type frag

and next week I am getting
aussie green and red blasto
aussie multi coloured maze
dragon soul favia
needle in a haystack sps
blue and green sympodium

The large red monti and the two frags on the sand behind it are pending pickup from Steve...

07-12-2014, 08:12 PM
How are you liking that 2 gal fluval tank. Im thinking of getting one for brine shrimp. Is there a pump that connects the back to the front

07-12-2014, 08:23 PM
The 2 gal is ok. I more or less just used it for short and cheap QT for my fish, but since I'm not getting any more its been sitting there empty.

There is a small pump that comes with the system that sits in a tiny separated compartment behind the black overflow which pushes the water from the back to the front through a slightly flexible direction outlet on the right side. There isn't much room for a thermometer though (unless you want to put it in the display part of the tank), and the two I have managed to find to fit in the back crapped out on me within a week.

The lights are nice and bright, but the lid has a huge hole in it for the light to shine through, so with fish in there/ having cats, in order to stop jumping or paws going where they shouldn't be, I had to cover it with mesh.

07-17-2014, 09:14 PM
For the first time ever, I managed to catch a decent photo of one of the two hitch hiker crabs I got on a piece of rock from Wai's back in January. They somehow managed to survive my ammonia cycle. I'm pretty sure they are porcelain crabs, and they have moved their home from one end of the tank to the other. I usually can see them hanging under small arches filtering the water.

While both have the same blueish spotted colour, this one has pink under his claws, while the other has white.

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y224/tabkatz/crab-1.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/user/tabkatz/media/crab-1.jpg.html)
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y224/tabkatz/pinkcrab.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/user/tabkatz/media/pinkcrab.jpg.html)

Also, here is a photo of Frank, my conch, because he is a rockstar.

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y224/tabkatz/frank.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/user/tabkatz/media/frank.jpg.html)

08-12-2014, 05:41 PM
I think my fish is a bit anti-Semitic.... PS. Man do iPhone cameras love soaking up the blue LEDs. Yikes
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y224/tabkatz/01964419-3e4e-4bcc-b224-2e14e47348ea.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/user/tabkatz/media/01964419-3e4e-4bcc-b224-2e14e47348ea.jpg.html)

09-04-2014, 09:35 PM
We just had some reno's done in our bathrooms, which is where I get my water to run through the RODI, so I had about 3 weeks of no water change. Out of desperation, I grabbed a few gallons from Walmart. Now that the bathrooms are pretty much complete, I was finally able to hook up my RODI and decided to take the opportunity to do some major tank maintenance and overhaul.

What I have planned for the afternoon/evening:

1) Splitting my GINORMOUS anemone, which has taken to shading all the other coral in my tank
2) a few of my corals have gone downhill since the renos, so I will be doing some trimming/dipping/moving of them
3) changing the rockscape a bit to better suit the corals I have, to try to avoid having a setup where the nem can umbrella over the corals, and to create some more surface space for the zoas I will be picking up tomorrow
4) Rinsing some of the detritus off the rocks while I move them
5) a large H2O change

Fingers crossed nothing dies.

09-16-2014, 03:16 PM
New equipment

I am super excited to get my new skimmer! I have been using the stock RSM 130D skimmer, and it is loud as all hell, and I find it very finicky. I placed an order at concepts for a Tunze (the cutest skimmer you will ever see!) and should hopefully get it in the next week or so.


Lost one of my zoas =[ of course it was the most expensive, and due to unfortunate events caused partially by me, and partially by a really annoying hermit crab, it got beat up and exploded, and died. The rest of the new zoas I got are doing amazing, though!

My two halves of my nem are healing, slowly though. I had to clean out their containers (which they haven't moved out of) since their bodies were blocking some flow to the bottom, resulting in crud buildup. I did put some slits in the sides of the containers to hopefully avoid that issue reoccurring. The cuts have healed, and it looks like the discs are rounding out and the mouths are healing up too. At this rate, they should hopefully be good in the next couple weeks.

Commendations to Mr. Cerith, my invincible dwarf cerith snail! I found him alive this morning on my glass, despite thinking he was dead for over 2 weeks. He has lived through stranding himself in a bunch of accumulated salt on the lid slider bar things for 2 days, he has survived being sucked up by tubes into water change buckets, and being stuck in the crud under my nems in their containers. yay!

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y224/tabkatz/cerith.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/user/tabkatz/media/cerith.jpg.html)

09-16-2014, 05:14 PM
Very nice!! Did you get 9001 or 9002??? I'm also looking into upgrading the skimmer on my RSM 130 as well.. can you post you tank pictures?? :)

09-16-2014, 05:45 PM
I believe I ordered the 9001, from my reading the 9002 is out of production and has been replaced by the 9001.

The 9001 is smaller, and has a square collection cup so you don't need to go buy a different one from intank. You can also move the magnet so you don't HAVE to have a media basket to connect it to.

I will post some tank pictures shortly.

09-16-2014, 07:52 PM
yeah! I was looking at 9001 last weekend in the LFS and its cup is bigger than 9002..

Can you let me know how you install 9001 without the media basket?
I'm now leaning toward getting a new 9001.. :)

10-04-2014, 09:44 PM
I am super excited for my new skimmer!! I've been using the stock skimmer for the RSM 130D and it just isn't cutting it, and it is super loud.

I ordered (and received today!) my new Tunze 9001. Literally the smallest skimmer ever.

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y224/tabkatz/skimmer.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/user/tabkatz/media/skimmer.jpg.html)
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y224/tabkatz/skimmer2.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/user/tabkatz/media/skimmer2.jpg.html)

10-06-2014, 05:26 PM
very nice!! I also got 9001 for my RSM 130.. I also got the media basket. so far I'm very happy with it.. how do you put your 9001 in your tank?

10-06-2014, 06:12 PM
I epoxied the magnet to the side and have it connected through the back glass. I didn't put the surface skimmer on but I'm thinking I might. I have the skimmer set back farther than the glass slates that the stock skimmer slid in to. I love how quiet the skimmer is!

10-07-2014, 04:35 PM
I don't mean to ruin your tank journal but have you ever had heat problem on your RSM 130? Ever since I upgraded mine, I'm fighting with high temp. ( 84F-86F). Maybe it is my stock lighting..-.- how do you like your LEDs??

10-07-2014, 04:53 PM
I don't mean to ruin your tank journal but have you ever had heat problem on your RSM 130? Ever since I upgraded mine, I'm fighting with high temp. ( 84F-86F). Maybe it is my stock lighting..-.- how do you like your LEDs??

Not a problem. I wasnt having any heat issues with the stock lighting, however i did have heat issues during the summer. Didnt help the room the tank is in has 6 windows which are east and south facing. I had to foil 3 of them and leave a small fan blowing on the back filter area. Now that the heat is over there are no temp issues. I like my leds and the customization they offer. I kept the rsm fans and all seems well.

10-14-2014, 03:36 PM
I am loving this skimmer. It is pulling skimmate like mad, which is expected because I spoil my fish. The stock skimmer pulled basically nothing, and this baby is a machine.
Coincidence or not (I think not) for the first time in almost 2 months the polyps on my needle in a haystack sps, and the tips of my toadstool are open. Also one of my nems split, so now I have three of the buggers running around my tank. The only thing not looking do hot is my green monti cap, which I think died when we were doing bathroom renos. =[

10-14-2014, 04:20 PM
How do you like your collection cup? does it fit well?? maybe it's just mine but my cup does not seem to fit tightly. it works great. less heat( which is important). please post your tank picture :)

10-14-2014, 05:20 PM
The collection cup is fine, it fits into the back just perfectly, and I like that the lid flips over and clips into the bottom so that no crud drips out as you move it to the sink.

The cup isn't a snug fit, but it sits fine in the top. As long as I keep an eye on it to make sure my water level doesn't rise above it, the cup not "clipping in" isn't an issue for me.

10-14-2014, 05:54 PM
here are some really crappy phone pics of the tank. don't mind everything on the sand. I plan on mounting stuff once I sell two of the nems.

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y224/tabkatz/tank1.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/user/tabkatz/media/tank1.jpg.html)
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y224/tabkatz/tank2.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/user/tabkatz/media/tank2.jpg.html)
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y224/tabkatz/tank3.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/user/tabkatz/media/tank3.jpg.html)
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y224/tabkatz/tank5.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/user/tabkatz/media/tank5.jpg.html)
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y224/tabkatz/tank4.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/user/tabkatz/media/tank4.jpg.html)
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y224/tabkatz/tank7.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/user/tabkatz/media/tank7.jpg.html)

10-14-2014, 08:09 PM
very nice!! your tank looks better than mine :biggrin: I lost many frags due to the heat...

Skimmer Juice
10-14-2014, 11:00 PM
Looks like its coming a long well. How is the mushroom I gave you doing?

10-14-2014, 11:23 PM
Its doing well. When I was doing my bathroom renos (of course when I had almost 0 access to the tank) it got stung by my nem and the edges disintegrated. But after a couple weeks it was good as new. Its probably the size of a quarter.

I want to get it up on the rock with the rest of the shrooms, but one half of a nem keeps flipping over the top and I'm worried it will be a jerk and sting it. Can't wait for them to heal so I can sell them off.