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FFGirl
04-16-2012, 08:40 PM
Hey everyone, my husband is buying me a 28 gallon nano tank for my bday :) It's the starter kit one from Pisces. However, in reading for over 100 hours about marine tanks I have myself so worked up I am not sure if I should get it at all for fear of doing something horrific :P I am going to list out what I was planning to do, and if any of you can confirm or correct my secisions I would appreciate it as I am getting the tank on Friday!!
Day 1 get kit, stand, refractometer and RO water (for such a small tank I am going to buy my water at the grocery store for now)
Mix salt and fill tank 2/3 full.
Day 2 go buy live rock and put in tank, add live sand and top off water. Let the sand settle and then fire up all filtration.
day 3 to ? Let tank cycle, testing water every couple of days until 2 to 3 weeks has past, performing 5% water changes weekly.
3 weeks later (or when I have good water readings for a few days in a row) go get a few snails, hermit crabs and shrimp (or should shrimp come later?)
Acclimate new critters and add to tank. Wait 2 to 3 more weeks testing water regularily and adding feed for shrimp doing 5 to 10% weekly water changes
Then finally add my 1st fish and 1st coral (one of each)

Sooooo, how am I doing?? Is there chemicals I should be adding?? I am so freaked out by all of the different advise I have seen out there :P

Thanks to anyone who took the time to read my small novel :)

reefgirl189
04-16-2012, 09:13 PM
Sounds good to me! You probably don't need to bother doing water changes while you are cycling though but it's good practice for the future.

globaldesigns
04-16-2012, 09:27 PM
I don't think you are doing anything wrong. My recommendation in this hobby is patience. I waited 4 or so months before buying any fish or coral. Clean up crews area different story, and I would say, look into that after the cycle.

You are on the right track. Take your time and research your livestock. Don't just buy anything, as it is alot harder to get them out later.

Welcome to Canreef and enjoy this great hobby! Oh yeah... FYI, things will happen that will upset you, it happens. We all have our stories, but again, just take your time and have fun.

aqure591
04-16-2012, 09:39 PM
Welcome to the forums!. As everyone else will tell you PATIENCE is the key in this hobby. Take your time and do it right in the first place. Your on the right track as far as everything goes.

However, do not add live rock in your tank and let it cycle. I would recommend curing your live rock in a rubbermaid container and then adding it to your tank later(this process will get rid of most of the critters that are within the rock). Or perhaps just buy Dry macro rock, its cheaper lighter and easier to work with. As far as the coraline algae goes, what you can do is for example get 15 pounds of dry rock and you would seed it with lets say 5 pounds of live rock.


I have a 46 gallon bowfront tank with about 20 lbs of dry rock and 10 lbs of live rock which I cured. My tank has been running for 4 months and let me tell you my dry rock already has coraline algae (purple stuff) growing all over it. Here is a link on how to cure live rock http://www.liveaquaria.com/general/general.cfm?general_pagesid=59

Good Luck!

jorjef
04-16-2012, 09:40 PM
I would be picky with the live rock. For less headaches IMO buy cured live rock vs. fresh live rock. Maybe someone from Calgary could point you to one of the local shops that has some nice rock in stock. Unless you are know what to look for I would avoid buying "used" live rock. Not always but generally people don't want to sell their quality live rock.

aqure591
04-16-2012, 09:45 PM
I bought my live rock from a local LFS that stated its "Cured" and ready to go. However, I'm a very skeptical person and didn't want to risk my investment and find out later that there are critters in my display tank. Once I cured my rock let me tell you I found a lot of interesting stuff(critters etc) that came off the rock, so good thing I went with my decision to cure the rock regardless of what they told me.


I would be picky with the live rock. For less headaches IMO buy cured live rock vs. fresh live rock. Maybe someone from Calgary could point you to one of the local shops that has some nice rock in stock. Unless you are know what to look for I would avoid buying "used" live rock. Not always but generally people don't want to sell their quality live rock.

globaldesigns
04-16-2012, 09:46 PM
Some good points stated above. If you use dry rock and buy a piece of cured rock with no bad critters, there will be a better chance of not introducing things you don't want. Like: Pistol or mantis shrimp, bad crabs, etc.

I myself didn't do this, and can tell you that I have some fairly large crabs, of the yucky variety. So far no issues, but you never know. Also I do have the odd occassion of clicks, thought it was a mantis/pistol, but then thought maybe a crab. Don't know as I never saw what is making the sounds.

This route will mean taking more time before introducing livestock, but you may be happier for doing it.

FFGirl
04-16-2012, 11:37 PM
Thanks so much everyone for the welcome, and for the advise!! I appreciate it :) I was figuring I would get my live rock from Pisces as they give a discount o your 1st purchase of it when you buy a tank from them. They carry cured, cultered live rock. I am wanting to take this very slowly as I know that is the key to minumising catastrophe lol. So the couple things nobody has commented on that I still feel sketchy on, are, is it ok to use grocery store RO water? I just would rather wait a bit before investing in a RO DI unit of my own. Also, chemicals needed for a healthy reef and when do I add them, or do I at all? And then the shrimp with a cleaning crew if I supplement their food? Or do the shrimp come in once there are fish :)
Thanks again everyone!! You guys are awesome!!

aqure591
04-16-2012, 11:49 PM
I would think twice if I were you. The so called "cure" rock pisces sells didn't look cured to me the last time I saw it at their location. The rocks were covered in aiptasia....

1). As long as the TDS reads 0 the grocery store Ro water should be sufficient.

2). Chemicals needed all depend of what you are going to be keeping in the tank. If you use "seachem" salinity salt mix their brand already has all the supplements needed for a healthy reef in their batch. However, you will very closely need to measure everything. I suggest you do a lot of reading to make sure you understand what is needed and how everything works http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2007-03/rhf/index.php#5

3). Once your tank is cycled and your ammonia and nitrates read 0 you can carefully add a clean up crew then.



Thanks so much everyone for the welcome, and for the advise!! I appreciate it :) I was figuring I would get my live rock from Pisces as they give a discount o your 1st purchase of it when you buy a tank from them. They carry cured, cultered live rock. I am wanting to take this very slowly as I know that is the key to minumising catastrophe lol. So the couple things nobody has commented on that I still feel sketchy on, are, is it ok to use grocery store RO water? I just would rather wait a bit before investing in a RO DI unit of my own. Also, chemicals needed for a healthy reef and when do I add them, or do I at all? And then the shrimp with a cleaning crew if I supplement their food? Or do the shrimp come in once there are fish :)
Thanks again everyone!! You guys are awesome!!

Reefie
04-16-2012, 11:50 PM
What is this word you guys keep referring to?

Pay ------Shunce?

But it's more FUN to just flush money down the toilet while screaming "YAHOOOOOO" and pulling hairs out one at a time. :wink:

Nano
04-16-2012, 11:52 PM
So the couple things nobody has commented on that I still feel sketchy on, are, is it ok to use grocery store RO water? I just would rather wait a bit before investing in a RO DI unit of my own. Also, chemicals needed for a healthy reef and when do I add them, or do I at all? And then the shrimp with a cleaning crew if I supplement their food? Or do the shrimp come in once there are fish :)
Thanks again everyone!! You guys are awesome!!

I use tap water and grocery RO as I am waiting for my RO unit to come in still.. dang americans ;)
I havent had any problems from the water, just problems from carbon dosing with bad carbon. Ro is Ro, if the tds is good I say your ok, you can get a TDS meter from walmart for about $10 so it might be a good investment, if you go that route for the time being. There are lots of people who do this, and use tap water as well with no real issues, but RO/ ro/di is always a good choice if possible.

Reefie
04-16-2012, 11:55 PM
Ok I got it out of my system.....

I'd suggest getting some Live Sand to help get your bio-filter going.

I used SeaChem's Stability to help get my tank cycled, in fact I never really did experience a full cycle as I had used Cured Live Rock.

But the real key here is PATIENCE, do things slowly, take your time to research your purchases. You will end up with a healthier tank and save you a lot of money and headaches down the road.

reefgirl189
04-17-2012, 12:33 AM
Thanks so much everyone for the welcome, and for the advise!! I appreciate it :) I was figuring I would get my live rock from Pisces as they give a discount o your 1st purchase of it when you buy a tank from them. They carry cured, cultered live rock. I am wanting to take this very slowly as I know that is the key to minumising catastrophe lol. So the couple things nobody has commented on that I still feel sketchy on, are, is it ok to use grocery store RO water? I just would rather wait a bit before investing in a RO DI unit of my own. Also, chemicals needed for a healthy reef and when do I add them, or do I at all? And then the shrimp with a cleaning crew if I supplement their food? Or do the shrimp come in once there are fish :)
Thanks again everyone!! You guys are awesome!!

Are you referring to chemicals or elements (like calicum, mag, etc.)?
Only the latter are necessary for reef keeping IMO.

CM125
04-17-2012, 12:38 AM
I have used tap water with no issues, as well as bought some live rock from someone online, then topped up from the store. There was some nice pieces at big als. Cycle only took about 2 weeks.

fishytime
04-17-2012, 12:49 AM
I would agree with almost everything said, except for the dry rock....I hate dry rock....it will cause you nothing but trouble and I will bet my life that Marko rock is not lighter than good live rock....it is basically petrified live rock, so I seriously doubt it will ever have the capacity to be as good as live rock.....dry rock could take anywhere from a couple monthes to a year (or more) before you will be able to count it as part of your biological filtration.....for the 25-30 pounds that you will need for that size tank, I would bite the bullet and get all live rock.....start a tank with 100% live rock and you need to be patient, start a tank with dry rock and you will have to be REALLY patient....I know others will chime in and say that they never had any issues with using dry rock, but I work at a LFS and see and hear about the problems on almost a daily basis...

jorjef
04-17-2012, 12:59 AM
And cured rock and pest free rock are NOT the same thing. You can have cured live rock that still have critters in it. I also vote live rock vs. dry/base rock. But I'm very impatient lol

CM125
04-17-2012, 01:15 AM
The live rock we got came with some critters, almost all good! And reduced our cycle time, its nice to have purple in a brand new tank.

FFGirl
04-17-2012, 01:42 AM
Wow lol, lots more stuff to read about!! Thanks so much everyone. So, if not pisces, where would you guys recomend I get my live rock from? Wais? Red Coral? I personally think I want to go the live rock route.

Coralgurl
04-17-2012, 02:28 AM
Hi and welcome!

I would check out Red coral for live rock, they always have a great selection of interesting pieces. I would look at others tanks and decide how you would like your aqua scraping to look, then find pieces that would work. I have dry rock in my tank but wish I didn't, simply because true live rock is so much cooler looking.

As everyone else has said, go slow, and ask here, very helpful friendly crowd!

Congrats on going salty, can't wait to see your tank come to life!

FFGirl
04-17-2012, 03:15 AM
Thanks!! I will go check out red coral then :) I'd rather pay full price and get something better than use my 10% odd coupon and be disappointed :P And yes, I am ready to take it slow and easy with the tank! A lot of places I went to told me that I should add my bleaning crew inside of 2 weeks!! I told them I would rather be safe than sorry and wait for longer :P I really want to be successful at this! It is something I have wanted to do for many years :) Friday seems SO FAR away right now lol

reefgirl189
04-17-2012, 04:12 AM
If you were in EDM I'd give you the extra live rock I have for free. It would be enough to for your nano for sure. It's just not very purple as it's been in the sump for awhile.

Going to Edmonton anytime soon (or better yet, Bonnyville?)

FFGirl
04-17-2012, 04:35 AM
If you were in EDM I'd give you the extra live rock I have for free. It would be enough to for your nano for sure. It's just not very purple as it's been in the sump for awhile.

Going to Edmonton anytime soon (or better yet, Bonnyville?)

Thanks for the offer hun!! But I haven't been to Edmonton in years!!! We have been thinking of taking the kids up to the mall sometime...but nothing concrete for plans :P

jorjef
04-17-2012, 04:59 AM
A lot of places I went to told me that I should add my cleaning crew inside of 2 weeks!! I told them I would rather be safe than sorry and wait for longer

I would wait until you absolutely need it and not before. You need to buy specific critters for specific problems. No sense buying something if the problem isn't there. I have never been a fan of buy 5 of these, 5 of those, 10 of these etc.

goldie
04-17-2012, 05:14 AM
I would wait a little bit before adding a shrimp..I find they are a little fragile, but are very cool

FFGirl
04-17-2012, 10:29 PM
Good to know about the shrimp! Thanks :) I will for sure hold off on them then :)

intarsiabox
04-18-2012, 12:44 AM
Also, chemicals needed for a healthy reef and when do I add them, or do I at all? And then the shrimp with a cleaning crew if I supplement their food? Or do the shrimp come in once there are fish :)
Thanks again everyone!! You guys are awesome!!

You won't need to add any chemicals to your tank for some time. Any good salt will have what you need to cycle your tank, keep fish and soft corals. When you start adding LPS or SPS corals they will start depleting calcium and other minerals from your system. The salt you use may still be sufficient and you should never add any chemicals to your tank without testing the water to see if you actually need to or not. As far as shrimp go I would wait until your tank is fully cycled and ready for fish. Shrimp are great for getting excess food that makes it by the fish and scavange enough food that you don't have to purposely feed them.

Triggz
04-18-2012, 02:45 AM
I would agree with almost everything said, except for the dry rock....I hate dry rock....it will cause you nothing but trouble and I will bet my life that Marko rock is not lighter than good live rock....it is basically petrified live rock, so I seriously doubt it will ever have the capacity to be as good as live rock.....dry rock could take anywhere from a couple monthes to a year (or more) before you will be able to count it as part of your biological filtration.....for the 25-30 pounds that you will need for that size tank, I would bite the bullet and get all live rock.....start a tank with 100% live rock and you need to be patient, start a tank with dry rock and you will have to be REALLY patient....I know others will chime in and say that they never had any issues with using dry rock, but I work at a LFS and see and hear about the problems on almost a daily basis...

+1!

I am a firm believer that true liverock is the lifeblood of your system. Personally, I like using really fresh liverock when cycling a new aquarium. Usually the liverock will kick in the cycle for you. You may get a few bad crabs, the odd shrimp but I really think the good (different shades of coraline, nice macro algaes, good critters) outweighs the bad. I usually leave the sand out for a weeks if I go this route. This way you can easily siphon out any "crap" that falls off the rocks while its curing. Get in there and give them a shake or hit them with a powerhead/turkey baster to flush out as much die off as possible.

Liverock is def a tricky subject.... gonna get a lot of opinions on this one. Either way you go take your time, sounds like your on the right track :thumb:

FFGirl
04-18-2012, 05:19 AM
+1!

I am a firm believer that true liverock is the lifeblood of your system. Personally, I like using really fresh liverock when cycling a new aquarium. Usually the liverock will kick in the cycle for you. You may get a few bad crabs, the odd shrimp but I really think the good (different shades of coraline, nice macro algaes, good critters) outweighs the bad. I usually leave the sand out for a weeks if I go this route. This way you can easily siphon out any "crap" that falls off the rocks while its curing. Get in there and give them a shake or hit them with a powerhead/turkey baster to flush out as much die off as possible.

Liverock is def a tricky subject.... gonna get a lot of opinions on this one. Either way you go take your time, sounds like your on the right track :thumb:
Thanks so much for the advise :) I do want to go the live rock route :) I never thought of leaving the sand out to keep clean up easier :)
All of you guys are awesome :) I so appreciate all of the time you have all given me!!!

FFGirl
04-19-2012, 09:31 PM
So YAYYY!!! I am off to go and buy my tank this afternoon!! I am very excited in spite of the fact that all it will be today is a tank full of salt water lol....but tomorrow will come some live rock!!!

Enigma
04-20-2012, 10:53 PM
So YAYYY!!! I am off to go and buy my tank this afternoon!! I am very excited in spite of the fact that all it will be today is a tank full of salt water lol....but tomorrow will come some live rock!!!

How has it gone? Is it set up?

FFGirl
04-21-2012, 02:30 AM
Yes, thank you!! It is set up and running right now!! I took the advise of the owner of my new favorite store lol, and went with a mix of marcorock and live rock which I picked up today. Tomorrow I am going to syphon up a bit of debris that has settled in the tank and add my sand. Salinity and temp are great right now....so now to wait...and wait.....and wait lol

gregzz4
04-21-2012, 02:41 AM
If you don't mind a suggestion, and it was mentioned earlier by triggs;
Don't put the sand in until your cycle is completed. This may be weeks. Once the sand is in, you won't see what to siphon and what you do see will now be a 'gravel cleaning' adventure.
You are most likely going to get detritus from the rock for awhile

FFGirl
04-21-2012, 03:46 AM
If you don't mind a suggestion, and it was mentioned earlier by triggs;
Don't put the sand in until your cycle is completed. This may be weeks. Once the sand is in, you won't see what to siphon and what you do see will now be a 'gravel cleaning' adventure.
You are most likely going to get detritus from the rock for awhile

ok, I will wait, Just watching the last few hours pass I can't believe all of the debris that is laying in the bottom of the tank!! The one thing that's laying there that disappointed me a bit was a little snail shell :( I'd imagine he died moving him from the store to my tank? Or could it have just been a little shell that was in the peice of rock?

FFGirl
04-21-2012, 07:20 PM
Can anybody tell me if this is ok.....my temperature in my tank is not steady at all....I have 2 thermometers in my tank, this morning they were both reading in the higher 70's...one was about 78.5 the other was 75. Now that the lights have been on for awhile and the house is warmong up one is at 80 and the other at 81.5...what is the safe temperature range???

gregzz4
04-21-2012, 09:38 PM
Have a read through this post

http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=80576&highlight=stable

FFGirl
04-21-2012, 10:46 PM
Wow....my tank is WAYYY too warm then!! Right now it's at almost 84. Guess I should turnn down the heater lol....I thought that I wanted to be over 80 with a reef tank :P

Enigma
04-22-2012, 03:44 AM
I kept the last tank I cycled at 82 throughout the process. I read something, somewhere, that indicated that the bacteria establishes itself and grows best at that temperature.

Now that the tank is ready for livestock, I've dropped the temp to 77-78 (which is where I keep my other tank).

fishpoops
04-08-2013, 01:10 AM
Just wanted to see if there are any updates on this tank, I have the same one and was wondering if you have done any mods to yours or if you have any tips or tricks in regards to it's maintenance?

FFGirl
04-08-2013, 05:13 PM
Hello, I do still have my tank! Unfortunately I moved to Vancouver Island so I had to sell everything I had :( I have just started from scratch and have LR and sand in place as well as three coral frags, snails and hermits, stay tuned as I have my LFS bringing me in my first fish for the tank! A Grade A Picasso clown!!!! I am very excited, though it could take some time to find what I'm looking for. As far as mods or anything though, the only thing I have my LFS looking for is if I can replace the bulbs in the Nano with Metal Halide. I will keep you psted on that :)

paddyob
04-08-2013, 06:41 PM
Hi and welcome!

I would check out Red coral for live rock, they always have a great selection of interesting pieces. I would look at others tanks and decide how you would like your aqua scraping to look, then find pieces that would work. I have dry rock in my tank but wish I didn't, simply because true live rock is so much cooler looking.

As everyone else has said, go slow, and ask here, very helpful friendly crowd!

Congrats on going salty, can't wait to see your tank come to life!




I heard Red Coral was vandalized and closed shop?

FFGirl
04-08-2013, 06:56 PM
Yes, they were vandalized :( It happened shortly before we moved out to the island....so sad, not sure how somebody could do such a horrible thing.

fishpoops
04-08-2013, 11:23 PM
I assume you would be taking off the top then? I'm hoping to either do a led retrofit or might take the top off if I absolutely have to when the time comes.

FFGirl
04-08-2013, 11:41 PM
Yes, I just got back from my LFS and I would have to do a whole new canopy, so no metal halide for me. I will have to wait until I save enough pennies for the tank of my dreams lol.