First saltwater tank build

Ash1176

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hey guys, just got my tank delivered today, just waiting for other stuff to arrive, will be posting my build and hoping for some tips!
- tank: fluval evo 13.5 (will run stock light and pump for while, will remove filter foam and the foam in pump)
- heater: aqueon preset 50w
- power head: hydor coralia 240
- 10lb caribsea liferock
- 10lb caribsea arag alive fiji pink
salt, extra buckets and refractometer are on their way too. just need to get a some kind of nano thermometer.

for filtration, was going to take out the foam and included bags and replace them with filter floss, chemipure elite and seachem matrix, any recomendations ? was hoping to make a basket out of eggcrate.

in terms of setting up, iI can just add rock then sand (without rinsing? if I rinse, do I rinse with saltwater?) and then adding salt water ? no need to add filtration during the cycling process ? was thinking of running the pump and powerhead and no lights. i have some amonia left from my freshwater tank cycle. Also thinking of using my api freshwater test kit just for the cycle and then upgrade later to red sea or salifert, would that be ok ?
any help would be greatly appreciated!
 

kanzekatores

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You should rinse the sand with saltwater I believe. For the test kit, I'm using the freshwater API too, but there are some little differences in the color chart.
 

saltwater60

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If the sand is dry yes rinse it. Also yes you will run the filter during cycle. You want the flow and the bacteria to colonize the filter and rocks.
 
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Ash1176

Ash1176

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thanks guys!
Just got the the sand today and it is still wet, the bag says don't rinse though. The rock however is super dusty with all the broken off parts from the shipping, so i'm going to rinse it off with RO/DI before putting in the tank, then add the sand and then the saltwater
got more of the equipment today, will post some pics once i start the build.
 
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Ash1176

Ash1176

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Just waiting to get some RO/DI water now and we can get this cycling. RO/DI unit is not in the plans for now, until I save up for it will be getting the water in big jugs. Here is the scape, not much to play around with the rocks I got, but I like the cave and the different heights and depths.
 

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tuggerlake26

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Looks good! I'd definitely rinse the water but hold on the sand since it's packaged "live" sand.
 
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Ash1176

Ash1176

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So I added sand and saltwater, going to add the powerhead soon, just need to figure out how to put a hole in the lid to pass the cable. I’m just running the stock pump and stock filter foam to catch all the sand and rock dust, once that settles I’ll throw out the the foam and use filter floss, and matrix in the diy media basket I made for chamber one and two. Once that’s done I’ll add the ammonia to start the cycle.
lights on or off for the cycle? I’m reading conflicting arguments
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Ash1176

Ash1176

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Went to Lfs to pick up some supplies, for and an extra piece of rock to add to the scape (once I added the sand the scape seemed a lot smaller, so wanted something extra) now I have a little island for some specific corals.
Picked some cleaning tools, and some extra matrix as I have plenty of room left in chamber 2, found a really small thermometer, it will do for now, might go for a digital one down the line, really don’t like seeing to much equipment. Other than that the tank is cycling, the lfs had fritz zyme for cheap so decided to give extra bacteria a go. So far the nitrites have risen quite quickly, test today showed:
Ph: 8
Ammonia: 1
Nitrite: 3
Nitrate: 10
Kh: 9
The fritz zyme 9 really pushed the cycle forward.
How long after my cycle is done should I introduce my first fish? Or Cuc ? I’m cycling with lights off right now so not much for cuc to feed on
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Ash1176

Ash1176

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It’s been a while!
I upgraded the heater to a cobalt neo-therm 50W, much more accurate, stable and “safer”
I also added 2x truelumen (made by current USA) actinic 12” LED strips under the hood, and also had a GLO-light led strip on hand so added that to the mix (it doesn’t do much in terms of PAR but adds a really nice purple hint to the mix)
83B75349-6D9D-428C-994F-81A9D6657217.jpeg


The tank now has nice different stages of colours during the day from blue to purple to daylight and then back to down to purple and then blue, with ramp up and down timers!
Before light upgrade:
4F11397C-39C2-4CAE-95D9-75FEADD86FE7.jpeg


After light upgrade:
C67CD1FD-75C1-4C7E-9241-C448FA0A4666.jpeg


Tank is also cycled, always a great feeling when a tank is finally cycled, took me a few water changes to get the nitrates down!
We now have a our first resident!
A caramel or mocha? Clownfish! (Captive bred)
He’s been in here over a week, he’s doing great and eating frozen spirulina shrimp and some NLS marine pellets!

27FE04E7-B10E-4B9D-A60B-F69E3870D268.jpeg
 

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