Culprit's Journey Into The Dark Side

Nart

On my new rock-scape for the IM25, I used about 1.5 tubes of epoxy.
I would say 2 tubes to be safe, so you aren't left stranded with no epoxy, plus you'll need it in the future mounting bigger pieces to the corals.
Small pieces of frags I can usually use super glue gel and attach it to the rock work, eventually they'll encrust onto the rock. Though, on occasion my snails or blenny will knock it off before they get a chance to encrust. bigger pieces, like a frogspawn, you'll definitely need epoxy to mount it on the rockwork to get it to stay, do the super glue gel/epoxy sandwich I taught you to mount bigger pieces of corals.
 

LJC6780

I'm going to put some matrix in there. Loose though. Along with cheato and an removable algae turf scrubber. Hopefully eventually it turns into a full blown refugium.



Yup!



Man that's expensive! Really cool though! Bet your algeas gonna take off. Isn't it funny that we want algae to grow lol?



Thank you!!! I'm am super duper excited. Need to get my parents to take me on a shopping trip. I need eggcrate, 2 brutes, 1 tank, long gloves, and water! My amazon order is coming tomorrow! Then I can get my live rock! Mom actually wants to take me to pick it up. When I get it I'll scrub off any soft parts, rinse it in fresh saltwater, then put it in the tank.

Oh! It’s a screw bit! I’m over here wondering how in the world you are going to drill a square hole with a machine that goes around in a circle! Lol

Just curious, why the square head screws?

I don’t think there’s any need to rinse in saltwater. You can actually spray it down with the hose ...
 
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LJC6780

thesoul and stella - ya'll two are hilarious.

The fuge lights don't have to be exactly opposite, like when DT lights are off, fuge light comes off and vice versa.
This is how I have my fuge lights currently set-up.... DT lights kick off at 9:30PM... fuge lights kick on at 11PM. Fuge light kicks off at 5AM. DT light kicks back on at 11AM.

No pink hue all over the room. what-so-ever.
But yeah, life of a reefer with no bottom sump to hide the extra lighting/equipments lol.

And here I am with mine tucked away inside a black cabinet! I notice a pink hue on the wall behind when I walk by but that’s it. And I actually have it on a later timer ... or maybe I just go to bed earlier now ... hmm. I also changed my DT lights to more closely mimic the sun table but I modified it a bit to fit our schedule. It comes on right around sunrise, maybe a little after. And I think I set it to go off maybe 2 hours after Sunset. But I have it slowly fading up and slowly fading down too. Since I did that the fuge is not opposite since it changes daily, but it is close enough.
 

Culprit

Oh! It’s a screw bit! I’m over here wondering how in the world you are going to drill a square hole with a machine that goes around in a circle! Lol

Just curious, why the square head screws?

I don’t think there’s any need to rinse in saltwater. You can actually spray it down with the hose ...

Lol for screws yeah lol. Because it was the only 2" screws Dad had.

It won't kill anything on the rock?

So UPS has this new thing where you can view a live map of where your package is. It has me biting my nails and checking my phone every 5 minutes!
 

LJC6780

Lol for screws yeah lol. Because it was the only 2" screws Dad had.

It won't kill anything on the rock?

So UPS has this new thing where you can view a live map of where your package is. It has me biting my nails and checking my phone every 5 minutes!

Is it live rock? Or rock that will be cured? Live rock is purchased wet, kept wet and usually placed directly into a tank with very little die off. Dry rock will have stuff that needs to be scraped off and then cured. I wouldn’t scrape stuff off of live rock since you are paying for the life on the rock. Sponges and corals and such are good things. Don’t rinse live rock in fresh water. Dry rock is fine.
 

Culprit

Is it live rock? Or rock that will be cured? Live rock is purchased wet, kept wet and usually placed directly into a tank with very little die off. Dry rock will have stuff that needs to be scraped off and then cured. I wouldn’t scrape stuff off of live rock since you are paying for the life on the rock. Sponges and corals and such are good things. Don’t rinse live rock in fresh water. Dry rock is fine.

It was live rock. Tragic has it, but its been sitting in a tub. He says its been stinking though so I don't know whether I should dry it out and re start as dry rock, which would give me good oppurtunity to scape, or try and give it nice clean water, take out anything dead, and see if it comes back really quickly. I'm not sure which.

They came!!!! My stand wasn't built, but its close, so I couldn't equipment check yet. I took pictures but I'm getting ready to run my regionals in x-c. So I don't have time to upload right now. Super impressed with the workmanship of the neotherm. Its super thin, it feels really really sturdy, and really easy to adjust which is a huge plus. Very unobtrusive. I like it a lot. Way better the my jager. The Jebao is super small, smaller then I expetced. I like it a lot. Unobtrusive and small. The controller seemed a bit complicated, but I'm sure its really not. Can't wait to fill the tank up and play with everything! I got most of the stand finished last night, all I need to do is put some extra bracing on and plywood it.

Soon I'll be going shopping and get my live rock and I'll get brutes, salwater and RO/DI water, 16 gal saltwater, 10 gal RO/DI, 3 5 gal buckets, eggcrate, 100+" screen railing, 8 cornerpeices, and my live rock! Then I'll come home and set it allllll up! I'll posst the pics when I get back.
 

Nart

I'm telling ya Culprit... once you get a neo-therm heater, you get spoiled and can't really go back to those old heaters with the turn knobs. That's one of the cons... haha. Also, the way it's engineered. It evenly heats the water very well. And Jebao power-head is neat too yeah? I like them a lot better than Hydor Koralias... just something to keep in mind ice cap gyre's are coming out with nano gyres by the end of this year. it's price point is like $120.... which is really good for folks with nano tanks. up until now... our power-head options were pretty limited. It was either $40 for okay performance or $235 for eco-tech MP-10's.... so a mid-range power-head for mid-range price... I'm with it!

Exciting day. Can't wait to see your progress.
 

LJC6780

Does the tub have a heater and powerhead? If so the rock should stay full of life. If not it’s like turning everything off in your tank and expecting it to stay alive. There will be some die off if it’s stinking but I personally think I’d keep it wet and not start over completely. There will still be a lot of life and hopefully things like brittle stars and pods tucked inside.

About the egg crate and screen rail ... were you planning to use these together? Screen railing is used with mesh and egg crate is used alone.
 

Culprit

I think I am spoiled now. I won't go back to those heaters again. It just feels so much more... reliable and easy to work. It is neat! Dad's off today because my sister and I had regionals in x-c so now we have the rest of the day off. Hoping to get the stand finished and set it up! With the light stand... Did you have to screw those screws in really hard to get it not to droop? Did you put any kind of padding between them and the glass? I'm afraid I might break the glass if I screw them in too hard. So for the light I think I'll put it on the first coral acclimating mode.

Does the tub have a heater and powerhead? If so the rock should stay full of life. If not it’s like turning everything off in your tank and expecting it to stay alive. There will be some die off if it’s stinking but I personally think I’d keep it wet and not start over completely. There will still be a lot of life and hopefully things like brittle stars and pods tucked inside.

About the egg crate and screen rail ... were you planning to use these together? Screen railing is used with mesh and egg crate is used alone.

I don't know... Tragic13 will be able to tell you. Its his rock. How many pounds do you have? Do you know? I'm leaning towards for now giving a good rinse and clean water and see if anything comes out/any signs of life. If so, then I'll leave it wet and rockscape one piece at a time. If not then I'll go ahead and dry it out, then rockscape, then cycle it.

No. The eggcrate is for bottom. Do you think I'll need it? I'm thinking that with the rockscape I'm planning and the fact that I will have a yasha goby and pistol shrimp I will want to rest the rockscape on the eggcrate then fill in with substrate. I was going to use the eggcrate for a lid as well... but then I did some research and it evidently messes with light diffusion and can block light. So I decided to go with screen. I have some plastic netting here, 1/8" holes and nice and sturdy. So I will get screen railing and cornerpieces and I think we have spline here. So railing and cornerpieces is dirt cheap.
 

LJC6780

I think people have differing opinions on bottom egg crate. If you are using it to protect under the rocks (not sure it’s necessary, I have rock on bare bottom) I’d cut small squares or circles to place directly under the rocks. I think the Nassarius and sand sifting fish would have a hard time sifting with the crate there.

I personally wouldn’t use it. Someone else may have some positive points for it though.
 

Nart

Colin - I included the acrylic pieces I made that was wrapped around with electrical tape. Use that in between the screws to prop it up. However, the best way to keep it mounted up is by mounting it in the middle instead of trying to do a sideways mount.

So like how I had it in this photo.
IMG_6077.jpg

No need to utilize the coral acclimation mode as well when you get corals imo.
If you keep the lights mounted at the middle holes, or lower... you can safely run the white channel at 40-50% and blues at around 60% without worrying about melting anything. Have the lights on for no more than 8 hours a day. Do like, 1 hour ramp up and 1 hour ramp down. For my AI Prime lights, my corals only get peak intensity settings for about 4-5 hours. I run my lights for 9 hours total, but with 1 hour ramp up, 1 hour ramp down, and I'll just have my blues @ 5% for my night-time enjoyment. Then all lights shut off 9:30PM.

I agree with LJC - no need for eggcrate. If you are worried... in the end after you are done with your rockstructure. Use the epoxy to form 4 little legs, that acts like those table legs. That's what I'm going to do with my structure for the IM10.
 

Culprit

Colin - I included the acrylic pieces I made that was wrapped around with electrical tape. Use that in between the screws to prop it up. However, the best way to keep it mounted up is by mounting it in the middle instead of trying to do a sideways mount.

Ohhhhh. You told me that but I thought it went under the screws on the back of the tank. I didn't think about using it to cushion the screws. Doing that and putting it perpindicular to the tank made it sturdy and flat. I don't know why I thought it had to be parallell...

No need to utilize the coral acclimation mode as well when you get corals imo.
If you keep the mounted at the middle holes, or lower... you can safely run the white channel at 40-50% and blues at around 60% without worrying about melting anything. Have the lights on for no more than 8 hours a day. Do like, 1 hour ramp up and 1 hour ramp down. For my AI lights, my corals only get peak intensity settings for about 4-5 hours. I run my lights for 9 hours total, but with 1 hour ramp up, 1 hour ramp down, and I'll just have my blues @ 5% for my night-time enjoyment. Then all lights shut off 9:30PM.

What do you think I should do for the live rock? I was thinking the coral acclimating mode would work perfect for it because its not much light, but its enough for the live rock. Or I can just program it to turn on for 8 hours at 40% white 60% blue if you think that wouldn't cause too much algea.

Heyhey, that's smart! Lots cheaper too. Gives me $15 extra I can use for other stuff!I had thought about the yasha and pistol shrimp and knew they wouldn't really like it but... I was worried about the rocks. I'll just do that so they can burrow under the rocks without disturbing them.

Still no pictures ugh. Sorry guys! I want to post pictures of the tank set up and running, and all I have left on the stand is putting the bottom piece of plywood in. I've just got to install 2 pieces of wood, the plywood, and 1 brace. Then I can set it up!As its pretty dusty up in the garage where it will be kept, I'm going to put a light sheet over it. Keep out the dust and insulate a bit.
 

Nart

Ohh - I wasn't sure what you were doing with the coral acclimation mode. Live rocks actually don't need any direct lighting, just heat, power-head, and a salinity level that you'll have your tank at.
But yeah - if you want, coral acclimation mode, or just 5% blue light or something, doesn't matter much for LR. But you are right about higher lighting and algae.
 

Culprit

But yeah - if you want, coral acclimation mode, or just 5% blue light or something, doesn't matter much for . But you are right about higher lighting and algae.

I want to see it lol. I'll just put it on 5% blues. Hopefully I should be getting my LR next saturday! I'm supposed to be going with mom to the chiropractor and then she'll take me shopping so I can get everything I need. I didn't get my stand finished today. Ugh! Hopefully some night this week though.... Here's the pictures of when I got the stuff. Super impressed with how thin the heater is!!
P1050275.JPG P1050274.JPG P1050273.JPG P1050271.JPG P1050268.JPG P1050267.JPG

Looked like christmas when I was done lol
 

grantm91

Oh yeahh I love these pictures with all the boxes and stuff, I feel like I was there haha, I love the jabeo pumps too.
 

LJC6780

I want to see it lol. I'll just put it on 5% blues. Hopefully I should be getting my LR next saturday! I'm supposed to be going with mom to the chiropractor and then she'll take me shopping so I can get everything I need. I didn't get my stand finished today. Ugh! Hopefully some night this week though.... Here's the pictures of when I got the stuff. Super impressed with how thin the heater is!!
View attachment 370618 View attachment 370619 View attachment 370620 View attachment 370621 View attachment 370622 View attachment 370623

Looked like christmas when I was done lol

You are sounding like me with the not getting things done! Lol and I love my chiropractor! He keeps me walking!
 

Culprit

Still not built. Mabye I'll get dad to help me finish tonight haha. If I could finish it on my own it would be finished like 3 days ago haha. Good news though! MOm went by lowes yesterday and picked up a 32 gal brute and 3 5 gal buckets with lids! She's a really big runner (50k's, 50 milers, 100 mile races) so I gave her a sports massage for an hour. She said she would take me to fish stores . So today I'm going by petco and my lfs to get a tank for my neighbor, and I'll be filling up my brute with 20 gallons of sw. Do I need a powerhead to keep it moving while it sits? I should be getting my LR this saturday, just need to finalize it with my parents! Pretty sure I'll be getting it though.

After I get my live rock and its set up and running, I'm gonna just cure it/cycle it for a few weeks while I save up the last bit of money to get my refractometer, salt, mixing powerhead, mixing heater, and substrate and I build my stand.
 

Nart

A power-head for the brute trashcans while RODI or Saltwater sits in there? No. Nothing.
Just scoop the water from the brute as needed into a bucket and use the power-head in the bucket during your Saltwater mix.
 

LJC6780

I leave a powerhead in my salt brute to keep it mixing. Don’t know if yes necessary but I feel like it would get stagnant in between if I don’t. Also, if you will be using them on the ground, you’ll want a pump of some sort with some larger tubing or pipe to transfer water from one can to the other and then to pump into your buckets to take to the tank.

Also get a float valve for the rodI can so you don’t overflow while making water.

My cans are on a bench with a pump and pipe from the rodI to the salt and then hey both have valves to fill buckets by draining rather than pumping out. This might be an option for you as well ... since you are handy and all.

There is a refractometer on amazon for $16.99. I’d go ahead and get that first if you’ll be mixing salt water so you can be accurate.
 

Culprit

I leave a powerhead in my salt brute to keep it mixing. Don’t know if yes necessary but I feel like it would get stagnant in between if I don’t. Also, if you will be using them on the ground, you’ll want a pump of some sort with some larger tubing or pipe to transfer water from one can to the other and then to pump into your buckets to take to the tank.

Also get a float valve for the rodI can so you don’t overflow while making water.

My cans are on a bench with a pump and pipe from the rodI to the salt and then hey both have valves to fill buckets by draining rather than pumping out. This might be an option for you as well ... since you are handy and all.

There is a refractometer on amazon for $16.99. I’d go ahead and get that first if you’ll be mixing salt water so you can be accurate.

For now I'll just scoop it out. Its only for my curing live rock. I don't have an RO/DI system and won't for a while. That does sound like a good idea. Even raising them even a foot, you could install a little drain in the bottom... I'll look into that!

Getting the stuff to mix my own salt is the next step. I need a refractomer, mixing powerhead, and salt. I just got 20 gallons of saltwater, so I'm going to fill the tank with 10 gallons, put the LR in it, and use the remaining 10 to give it a water change whenever ammonia level exceeds a certain level... what is a good level to cycle at? Otherwise I'll just do a 50% water change every week.

Mom and Dad finally gave me the go for getting my live rock saturday! So it should be home with me sometime saturday evening! When I get it home I'll scrub off any soft/rotten spots, and put it iin nice new clean water. They sold me the water at 1.025 sg.

I went to my LFS to get the SW. They have a really good selection of frags. I saw a torch and absolutely fell in love. It was beautiful! It was green with blue tips. Absoultely stunning. Watching the pulsing xenia was really cool too. GSP was beautiful, but I did't like it as much as I thought I would. I think its gorgeous, but didn't fall in love with it like I fell in love with the torch.

I also saw a purple firefish, watchman and fireshrimp pair, and clownfish. I may have changed my mind back to a watchman. It was super pretty, and the shrimp was cool to watch building its burrow! Firefish was beautiful too.
 

LJC6780

Hey if you do plumb the brutes in the future you’ll want to use the rubber uniseals from BRS. They work for rounded sides well. Just make sure you drill the hole the right size!
 

KristaD

For now I'll just scoop it out. Its only for my curing live rock. I don't have an RO/DI system and won't for a while. That does sound like a good idea. Even raising them even a foot, you could install a little drain in the bottom... I'll look into that!

Getting the stuff to mix my own salt is the next step. I need a refractomer, mixing powerhead, and salt. I just got 20 gallons of saltwater, so I'm going to fill the tank with 10 gallons, put the LR in it, and use the remaining 10 to give it a water change whenever ammonia level exceeds a certain level... what is a good level to cycle at? Otherwise I'll just do a 50% water change every week.

Mom and Dad finally gave me the go for getting my live rock saturday! So it should be home with me sometime saturday evening! When I get it home I'll scrub off any soft/rotten spots, and put it iin nice new clean water. They sold me the water at 1.025 sg.

I went to my LFS to get the SW. They have a really good selection of frags. I saw a torch and absolutely fell in love. It was beautiful! It was green with blue tips. Absoultely stunning. Watching the pulsing xenia was really cool too. GSP was beautiful, but I did't like it as much as I thought I would. I think its gorgeous, but didn't fall in love with it like I fell in love with the torch.

I also saw a purple firefish, watchman and fireshrimp pair, and clownfish. I may have changed my mind back to a watchman. It was super pretty, and the shrimp was cool to watch building its burrow! Firefish was beautiful too.

e79693f7159d19eec9d89f7ef1a7e8be.jpg

We vote for a Watchman!!!
 

thesoulpatch

I agree with stella1979 I love my judge Judy! She's adorable and has such a personality!
 

stella1979

Man, torches really got me too. I got hooked from pictures of Grants... green and blue. Ah well, maybe my next one will be green and blue too.

Super exciting weekend! Getting your first life in the tank.
 

Nart

No way..... Team Yasha Goby here
The yasha goby looks like an elegant ninja.
 

Culprit

I don't know... they both look cute! I really liked the bright yellow color of the watchman... but the spike and the stripes on the yasha would look really cool. I guess it will just come down to which I like more at the fish store!

Man, torches really got me too. I got hooked from pictures of Grants... green and blue. Ah well, maybe my next one will be green and blue too.

Super exciting weekend! Getting your first life in the tank.

I figured gsp and nems would be my favorite... but then I saw the torch in person and fell in love. The acans looked way prettier too in person. In the pictures I don't really like them but in person the colors were amazing. I think a duncan and condy I'll like a lot too. The zoas were way smaller then I though! They're button size! The way I saw them in pics they looked liek 3/4" across per head. Nope! Really pretty though. I'll for sure set aside part of my rockscape for a zoa garden. Speaking of which... Got a picture of the LR from Tragic and it looks amazing!! Still has some corraline on it, and a few nice big pieces to shape, and some smaller ones too. Should be plenty of rock! I need to start figuring what corals I'll want and design my scape around them.

Yeah I'm really excited to finally see some actually stuff for it! Up to now its just been equipment. I'm so close to finishing my stand, but I need Dad to help me finish! Argh... might be doing that sunday afternoon when I set it up haha.

For now, corals I know I'll want are:
Zoas
Torch (At least one)
GSP
Duncan or Elegance
Pulsing Xenia
Acans
Frogspawn
Anenome (I know its actually an invert but....)
Some type of leather or tree

Mabyes:
Montipora
Button corals
Hammer
RFA's
Pipe Organ
Blasto
 

Nart

Haha...tough choice. I've had both. Both are beautiful in their own way.
YWG always looks like it's grumpy
YG always looks like it's about to ninja chop you.

Good coral list you have there.
May I offer a suggestion? Once you get your tank situated and have a fish or two in there... When you are ready for your first coral, I would steer clear of zoas in the beginning.
For some reason, most of the nice looking zoas, especially the designer zoanthids seem to struggle in new tanks. My theory is that, even though a tank has cycled, it needs time to age the tank and grow the proper bio-diversity and bacteria to stabilize and properly house some of the corals. It's hard to explain, but it's weird with zoanthids. They are very prone to getting zoa pox. You end up stressing more about it then getting to enjoy the tank, but I think stella1979 enjoyed the dipping process kidding.

Corals I would shoot for as 'firsts' in the tank would be.
1) GSP (a decent size frag about 2" or bigger would be ideal. Bigger colonies just tend to grow a lot faster)
2) Duncan (I wouldn't get a elegance in a small tank, just because they grow fairly quick.. though it would make a good center piece for the tank though, just make sure you give it room to grow and space so it doesn't sting nearby corals. Elegance definitely don't get in the beginning)

In a week or two... Try for a pulsing xenia... keep an eye on how the Duncan and GSP thrives in the tank.
If all is well, in another week or two get an Acan or blasto.

At that point, I would try your hardest to not get anymore corals and focus on honing your skills on stability within the tank, learning about the mood of the corals, how much lighting do they like, water tests, and aging the tank.
Within the first few months your tank will fluctuate in pH, Calcium, etc.... So if you end up adding corals like frogspawns in the beginning, it'll be okay to add it, since they are pretty hardy. But they are also very moody at times as well to parameter fluctuations. I was all newbie about it with my frogspawns when I first started out. Some days it was open, some days not so much... being a newbie, I moved it all around the tank having no clue what it really needed. Parameter, flow, and light stability lol. It's finally thriving now and growing new heads.

Anyways, that's my 2 cents.
Can't wait to see pics of the set-up!
 

stella1979

Zoas do seem to vary greatly in size. My Rastas are tiny, almost pea sized. The Lunars are the size of a nickel and the others are in between. There are some designer palys too, they'll be bigger. I went shopping for what I thought was a disco shroom and learned it was a Palythoa Grandis. It's kinda huge, like a half dollar.

I think your lists look great, but the blasto should move up. They're colorful and fun to feed... somebody compared then to Venus fly traps and I totally get that know.

Duncan v. Elegance - I'd think duncans are easier. I love the elegance too, but apparently some can be difficult to keep alive. I think it depends on where they come from. I want an Elegance one day too, but thought it best to start with more hardy corals. My Duncan has grown fast, is hardy and fun to feed. It almost snatched the pipette from me recently.
 

Culprit

Good coral list you have there.
May I offer a suggestion? Once you get your tank situated and have a fish or two in there... When you are ready for your first coral, I would steer clear of zoas in the beginning.
For some reason, most of the nice looking zoas, especially the designer zoanthids seem to struggle in new tanks. My theory is that, even though a tank has cycled, it needs time to age the tank and grow the proper bio-diversity and bacteria to stabilize and properly house some of the corals. It's hard to explain, but it's weird with zoanthids. They are very prone to getting zoa pox. You end up stressing more about it then getting to enjoy the tank, but I think stella1979 enjoyed the dipping process kidding.

I can see that. Its just like in freshwater where you've gotta get over those first few months of algae outbreaks, ph fluctuations, water quality, ect which just happens because everything hasn't settle in and grown everything it needs to. But after that its a lot easier. So I get what you mean. Definitely don't want to be killing any zoas . I'm sure stella1979 looooved dipping haha.

Corals I would shoot for as 'firsts' in the tank would be.
1) GSP (a decent size frag about 2" or bigger would be ideal. Bigger colonies just tend to grow a lot faster)
2) Duncan (I wouldn't get a elegance in a small tank, just because they grow fairly quick.. though it would make a good center piece for the tank though, just make sure you give it room to grow and space so it doesn't sting nearby corals. Elegance definitely don't get in the beginning)

Probably no elegance then. I'll just get a duncan or dendro. GSP should be pretty cheap since its almost a weed right? So should be easy to get a big frag. A duncan is a beginner coral? I figured it would be after zoas and that stuff. But that's good! I think a duncan will be lots of fun.

In a week or two... Try for a pulsing xenia... keep an eye on how the Duncan and GSP thrives in the tank.
If all is well, in another week or two get an Acan or blasto.

I saw some pulsing xenia in my LFS's like 2 gallon AIO tank, it was just mainly pulsing xenia with some GSP. Not that good of waterflow but it was just... pulsing. It was really cool! That will be good movement in my tank. I'll make sure I give it its own rock so it doesn't spread. Same with the GSP.

I think your lists look great, but the blasto should move up. They're colorful and fun to feed... somebody compared then to Venus fly traps and I totally get that know.

Just watched a video of a blasto being fed. Super cool! For sure moving up to corals I want! So I'll get those if my GSP, pulsing xenia, and Duncan are looking good. But I'll do it one coral at a time. I'll get my GSP, and if after a week its looking good, I can get a duncan. Wait till it has good polyp extension most of the time, and looks healthy, then get pulsing xenia. I'm just going to use each coral as a prediction of how my tank is doing. Then I'l wait and let everything mature, and then start getting some corals like a torch, frogspawn, zoas, ect!

Duncan v. Elegance - I'd think duncans are easier. I love the elegance too, but apparently some can be difficult to keep alive. I think it depends on where they come from. I want an Elegance one day too, but thought it best to start with more hardy corals. My Duncan has grown fast, is hardy and fun to feed. It almost snatched the pipette from me recently.
Nom nom nom WANT MORE FOOD Give me all food now . I didn't realize elegances got so big. But they look a lot like duncans so I'll just stick with duncans and dendros!

I can't wait! After I get my LR all I need to get is:
Salt
Mixing Powerhead
Mixing heater
Substrate
And build my stand!

I have a feeling after I get my LR I'm gonna be disappearing up to the garage to stare at rock. I bet my families gonna think I'm crazy lol
 

Nart

It wasn't so much as killing zoas... but it's was so stressful figuring out what's wrong with it... then you see like the $25 frag that you just bought slowly die off to like 1 polyp... pretty deterring and doesn't give you that confidence you need when you first start off. Just my advice to stay away, some people do fine with them though for first corals, and in other tanks, they just melt away. So although, zoanthids are listed as easy and beginner corals, kind of deceiving, maybe some zoas are, but most of the ones I've got all struggled at one point.

Becareful of xenias touching on your main rock (if you don't want them on your main rockwork that is... it's a pain to get rid of.
And never. never. frag xenias in the tank. the smallest piece that floats away into a crevice will sprout new polyps eventually lol. Though not a big deal, it gets tiring to try and trI'm it back.
Oh - just to mention. Pulsing xenias in lower flow areas tend to exhibit the pulsing behavior more than pulsing xenias in higher flow area. That's what I've noticed with mine along with others I know as well.

GSPs are really cheap depending where you get them from. My local club was giving away a 12" x 12" GSP mat away for free.
Dendro = ballerrrrrrrrrr status. Moving on up in the world kidding. they can get expensive though, depending where and how available they are in your area.

Hahaha.... my definition of fun for the weekend is playing with my rocks. Sounds lame, but it was really enjoyable for me.
 

stella1979

Sounds like a good plan and a fun weekend.

And yes, zoas have been the bane of my existence... They're hangin' in. Hopefully they'll thrive eventually.
 

Culprit

Becareful of xenias touching on your main rock (if you don't want them on your main rockwork that is... it's a pain to get rid of.
And never. never. frag xenias in the tank. the smallest piece that floats away into a crevice will sprout new polyps eventually lol. Though not a big deal, it gets tiring to try and trI'm it back.
Oh - just to mention. Pulsing xenias in lower flow areas tend to exhibit the pulsing behavior more than pulsing xenias in higher flow area. That's what I've noticed with mine along with others I know as well.

So I think since I'll be able to shape my rock pretty much however I want I wanna start sketching out a design to accomodate different areas. I'm guessing I'll want a medium light medium flow area, high light high flow, low light low flow, and a few single islands for pulsing xenia/gsp.

Sure does stella! Don't worry, I'm sure they'll take off eventually!
 

LJC6780

Just so you know, light and flow don’t always match. For example some need low light but good flow or medium light and higher flow ... I’d just make sure you have a variety of lighting areas and few dead spots if any. You can try to pick a good spot and hope it works. I wouldn’t go mounting anything permanently until you figure out where things are happy.

That also sounds like a plan ... here’s hoping you have the self restraint to not impulse buy corals! Just remember if you see something cool in store, ask lots of questions and look up care and all on your phone BEFORE you purchase.

Dendros are quite expensive and I wouldn’t say they are a beginner coral.

I’d say some of my easiest corals have been my duncans and mushrooms. I’ve had pretty good luck with zoas and hammers too. My small blastos have been super fast growers and practically no maintenance.

Having made a ton of beginner mistakes along the way ... I definitely recommend just getting a few fish and inverts and letting the tank mature some before getting corals. Get through some of the algae outbreaks and make sure you are keeping parameters stable. Nothing in the sw world is cheap and it sucks losing corals because of stupid mistakes! It’s like throwing money in the street!

Slow and steady wins the race!
 

Culprit

Just so you know, light and flow don’t always match. For example some need low light but good flow or medium light and higher flow ... I’d just make sure you have a variety of areas and few dead spots if any. You can try to pick a good spot and hope it works. I wouldn’t go mounting anything permanently until you figure out where things are happy.

That also sounds like a plan ... here’s hoping you have the self restraint to not impulse buy corals! Just remember if you see something cool in store, ask lots of questions and look up care and all on your phone BEFORE you purchase.

Dendros are quite expensive and I wouldn’t say they are a beginner coral.

I’d say some of my easiest corals have been my duncans and mushrooms. I’ve had pretty good luck with zoas and hammers too. My small blastos have been super fast growers and practically no maintenance.

Having made a ton of beginner mistakes along the way ... I definitely recommend just getting a few fish and inverts and letting the tank mature some before getting corals. Get through some of the algae outbreaks and make sure you are keeping stable. Nothing in the sw world is cheap and it sucks losing corals because of stupid mistakes! It’s like throwing money in the street!

Slow and steady wins the race!

Oh yeah, I didn't think of that! I'll just try to build a rockscape that looks good but has lots a varied places. High light low flow, low light high flow, ect. Lots of variety lol.

Whelp, I'm pretty sure I'll have enough of a restraint. Having a tight budget makes restraint easy . But I think I have plenty of practice waiting for stuff to mature and stuff like that in freshwater. You can't take a really sensitive fish like a GBR and throw it into a freshly cycled tank. So I'll probably start out after I've been cycled for a week or two and start adding my cleanup. Then, when I'm sure everything is stable I'll add my firefish. Then I'll wait a bit and try some GSP. Wait a few weeks more, until everything is stable, and add a duncan. Wait a few weeks more and add pulsing xenia. Then I'll stop there and focus on getting everything perfect. I don't know how long that will take. Probably anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months. Then I'll very gradually start adding mabye some blastos, zoas, stuff like that!
 

Nart

A structure that consists of high to low points, with a few branching out will be best.
In a 20 long... what I usually envision is either a long arch or a two separate island that almost touches each other in the middle, but never touches.

You'll find lots of ideas on scapes if you look online. Find one that you like.
 

Culprit

Kind of like this one. Two islands one in the back right corner and one in the front left corner with a channel down the middle. Sort of like this

Or a big island with a little island with a bridge between them.

So, big news!!! I got my live rock today! Plenty of LR, and Tragic13 threw in some really cool extra pieces like some dead staghorn pieces, lots of shells, and little bits of coral. I love the way the LR looks too. Lots of character and little coral pieces on it. Still has some coralline on different pieces! Hopefully it starts growing again. I came back and we went up and finished my stand! So its all set up. There was a small accident, where the LR and water was too heavy for the tub, so it cracked the bottom when it was picked up, but the rock stayed damp the whole time so it should be fine! I have my powerhead on the back left corner so I get good circular circulation, and its on constant flow with speed on 5. I tried the wavemaker setting, but I wanted lots of flow so I left it on constant flow. Light - with the coralline I felt that 5% blues was too little, so I did 10% white and 15% blues. Will that be fine? I'll be testing for ammonia every day for the first few days. How high should I let the ammonia get before doing a water change? 1 ppm, 2 ppm, 3 ppm, 0.5 ppm?

So there was one HUGE rock, and then some other nicely sized ones. I busted the big one in half and it gave me 1 rock that was medium sized, and another really cool medium sized one that is like a big tall peice with a small jutting off piece on the bottom. It split far easier then I thought it would... Hopefully its easy to shape! Since its in the garage, I put a light blanket over it to help hold in heat and to keep any dust off. Will it hurt anything to leave the light on 24/7 or should I put it on something like 10 hrs on 14 off?

Its so amazing to see that blue light and that rock under the light. Its so freaking cool!!! I'm super excited! There's a small piece of I think GSP that was still green and not very stiff. I'm hoping it makes a recovery!
P1050399 (1).JPG P1050398 (1).JPG P1050396.JPG P1050393.JPG P1050391.JPG P1050390.JPG

Only filled it halfway to make water changes easier. Its a lot easier to change 50% of 10 gallons than 50% of 20! stella1979 how much evap did you say you had? I'm trying to figure out if I need another brute for top/off RO/DI water or if I can just keep it in a 5 gal. bucket.

To do list:
Draw rockscape
Build rockscape
Cycle rock
Mod AC 50 and get it running with cheato while rock cycles
Build stand

Shopping list:
Refractometer
Substrate
Salt
Mixing heater
Mixing powerhead
Screen Frame
Cheato
 

stella1979

I top off 12-14 oz. per day. 128 ounces in a gallon so 1 gallon lasts 9-10 days.
 

Culprit

I top off 12-14 oz. per day. 128 ounces in a gallon so 1 gallon lasts 9-10 days.

Oh perfect so a 5 gallon bucket will work just fine. Great!!
 

Nart

I usually let my ammonia sit at around 2ppm and no more seems to be the perfect spot for me to cycle a tank.

Moonlighting won't hurt anything at 5%.

Tank is looking good. Sexy lights you got there
 

Culprit

You think 5% blues alone will keep coralline growing? Or if there are any little coral hitchikers?

I know. They look super cool! Gonna look so sleek when its down in the house with a stand.

So I went up to check on it this morning. First, water is completely cleared up. It was cool to see everything I got! I definitely need to sketch out a design I like before I start hacking up rocks lol. But I brought my thermometer up because I forgot to put it in last night. Put it in, and it read 78.6. WHOA! I LOVE this neotherm heater. None of my heaters have ever been this easy. I literally put it in the water for 30 minutes then plugged it in. Next morning its sitting right on the nose of 78. Sweet!
 

LJC6780

Be careful putting a blanket over the lights if it’s touching. They need to breathe ... don’t want to start a fire! I have a glass Versa (not Versace) top on my 20 long. I also have a HOB with an open top and an airline tubing in the tank for gas exchange.
 
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Culprit

Hmmm. I didn't think about that. I do have an extra versa top. I'll put that on. I guess right now limiting the light doesn't matter as much as it will when I have corals.
 

LJC6780

Hmmm. I didn't think about that. I do have an extra versa top. I'll put that on. I guess right now limiting the light doesn't matter as much as it will when I have corals.

I don’t think it’s going to limit the light enough to matter unless you’re trying to grow sps with a crappy light. You can always wipe it down now and then. I have a little salt creep but I just wash it off.
 

Tragic13

Darn I had an extra pump I could have given you for mixing I didn't know. I also had an extra refractometer, I knew I should have asked before I left the house but I knew you were busy lol.
 

Nart

I'm telling you.... that Neo-therm colbalt. I loveeee that heater.

Hey - just keep in mind, when breaking/smashing the rocks. It rarely goes as planned lol.
I remember a few times when I wanted the pukanI rocks to break a certain way... Nope. It broke another way instead, but that was my experience.

You might be an expert builder.
Can't wait to see what you come up with!
 

Culprit

I'm telling you.... that Neo-therm colbalt. I loveeee that heater.

Hey - just keep in mind, when breaking/smashing the rocks. It rarely goes as planned lol.
I remember a few times when I wanted the pukanI rocks to break a certain way... Nope. It broke another way instead, but that was my experience.

You might be an expert builder.
Can't wait to see what you come up with!

Yeah, when I split the big one it split right in half! I have a feeling this is going to be fun! (Not much sarcasm, just a hair haha). I certainly hope so! I'd say it takes some getting used to though lol.
 

LJC6780

Yeah ... your plan is more just an idea and the rocks will lead you to a scape that works. Progress pics?
 

Culprit

Not any yet, I've been super busy! Basically I've just been thinking about some different rockscapes. Today I'm hoping to go up and work on it. I'm gonna test for ammonia and nitrates today. Hopefully 0 ammonia and some nitrates! probably some ammonia though. But if I don't test any ammonia and 0 nitrates I'll put some fish food in.

Mabye start working on the rockscape, it depends. I'm a little nervous about busting something and realizing its too small now.

So I went up and tested and replaced the sheet with my versa top. The water looks clearer then yesterday and, guess what, temp is at 78.6. I think I'm in love . The rock keeps looking cooler and cooler the more I see. I can find lots of little tubeworm skeletons, and little worm looking things encrusted on the rock. The shells and stuff are really cool too! I bet my hermit will love all the choices lol.

P1050409.JPG P1050410.JPG P1050411.JPG
On this last picture you can see the way that big huge rock broke. This is the bigger half. You can see that kind of step it created. I think I'll for sure use that in some way. Mabye make the rock a little smaller and leave the step, and make it an arch or just a high point and low point. I figure I need to get some Saltwater in a 5 gal bucket, and take out the rocks I'm not using to scape with. Its impossible to scape it at all with this many in the tank. Then if I can take out some rocks, and build it, using rocks from the bucket or replacing them with rocks from the tank. Will make it a lot easier. Then I can work on hacking up one rock at a time .

Ammonia tested at about .5 ppm. Not bad. I didn't test the nitrates cause I use a syringe to get 2.5 ml instead of 5 ml so the test solution goes farther and it was down in the house so I was too lazy to go get it haha. I'll test it tomorrow. Hopefully I see some nitrates and my ammonia has gone down!
 
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grantm91

I just want to see you start sculpting this into a mad design like you did the planted. Its your tank but I'm more impatient for it haha. You have some decent rocks to be working with.
 

Culprit

For sure! There's two really big ones, and then a decent amount of medium and small. Perfect for what I need! So will the live rock die off if I keep it damp just for like an hour? Cause then I could pull it out of the tank and really see what I've got and just keep misting it. Or if I had to I could take one of my buckets and fill it full of sw and put extra rock in it. But the big rocks are too big to fit.

I hope so! This seems so much harder... mabye because its a completely new style and type of scape. Its with white rocks and you are trying to cater towards corals. idk it for sure will take me some time haha
 

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