Lchi’s Sw Build- 10g To Im25 Lagoon!

Discussion in 'Saltwater Aquarium Builds' started by Lchi87, Jan 20, 2018.

  1. Lchi87

    Lchi87ModeratorModerator Member

    I decided to FINALLY take the plunge and join the salty side of fish keeping! I’m super intimidated but I’m going to try my best and hopefully this doesn’t turn into a big costly mistake, haha!

    I went the LFS this afternoon and came home with:
    -10lbs of live rock
    -Hydor koralia powerhead
    -caribsea bamini pink sand
    -a refractometer
    -nite out
    -seachem matrix
    -10 gallons of sw
    -5 gallons of RO

    I decided to keep the AC30 running, but just switched out the stock biomedia for the Matrix. In terms of lighting, a Nicrew will do for now since this will start out as a FOWLR but the ultimate goal; a nano reef ! :D

    Here it is; cloudy but cycling.. I think?!

    A few questions to start out with:
    Test kit recommendations? Somehow I don’t think the standard API Saltwater kit is going to be good enough...

    And am I dosing ammonia like I would FW?

    @grantm91 I’m really going to need your help, haha !
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2018
  2. Oarngesi

    OarngesiValued MemberMember

    I got my first 10 gallon sw Fowler cycling right now, what’s your power head rated at mine is blowing all the sand to one side. What fish do you plan to keep
  3. stella1979

    stella1979ModeratorModerator Member

    Yay, Yay, Yay!!! :D:D:D I am so glad to see this Lchi!

    You may have quite a short cycle with all the live rock! :) Ooooh, what fish are you thinking?

    You may have seen me say this before, but I will never forget one of the first SW threads I read here. 14gal Nano Reef Build
    A beautiful tank with a sad story early on. Trusted water from the LFS wasn't tested... turned out to be fresh. It killed everything. :( Always test salinity of new water! Still, a happy story in the end and some amazing photography on that thread. Check out the green slimer! I just got a frag. :D
  4. shutterbug13

    shutterbug13Well Known MemberMember

    I don't know anything about saltwater but I definitely want to follow along!
  5. OP

    Lchi87ModeratorModerator Member

    My powerhead does 240GPH... not sure if I need more..?
    I haven’t quite decided on stock but am intrigued by the goby/shrimp relationship and may want to try that!

    Also tempted to try a pseudochromis like @Nanologist ‘s lovely Petal :)

    I hope this cycles quickly, I can’t wait to get this going after seeing beautiful sw tanks from you and Grant, and GB and @Nart .... such bad influences I surround myself with. :p
    I did check salinity before adding the water; it was indeed saltwater. Me and my refractometer are going to be best buds from now on. :p
    Slug’s got some of the best photography on fishlore hands down and truly breathtaking tanks! #goals
    The green slimer is that green branchy looking one right? Sorry for my primitive terminology, just keep correcting me along the way and I’ll learn eventually.
    Thanks for following! I don’t know much either but am willing to learn. :)
  6. AngelTheGypsy

    AngelTheGypsyFishlore VIPMember

    How exciting! Someday I’ll stop reading “someone’s southwest tank build” in my head!
    I’ll be following along as a spectator, but will have zero advice, since I still can’t translate sw to salt...
    Doesn’t everyone have to have Nemo in their first sw tank?
  7. tfreema

    tfreemaFishlore VIPMember

    Following to learn along with you. I know one day I will take the plunge into sw, but not there yet.
  8. vikingkirken

    vikingkirkenWell Known MemberMember

    I'm following along of course! So excited to see the progress!
  9. OP

    Lchi87ModeratorModerator Member

    Lol!!! Clownfish can be aggressive apparently..? @grantm91 has one that bites him!
    I was saying that to myself not too long ago and now look where I am lol. But I agree, you set up that 75 first. ;)
    Yay!!! How’s your little saltwater experiment going??
  10. cadd

    caddWell Known MemberMember

    Following!! One day, I hope to be able to have a SW tank. I'm just coming along for the ride trying to absorb as much knowledge as possible for now.
  11. Wild Bill

    Wild BillWell Known MemberMember

    Welcome to the dark side @Lchi, I myself have a little 20 that I’m using to prepare myself for my 75 gallon that I’m building now. I look foreword to seeing your tank grow into a bigger tank.
  12. vikingkirken

    vikingkirkenWell Known MemberMember

    My saltwater tank is pretty much the same. I realized I still have two Jonah crabs--what I thought was a dead crab was only a molt! So now I have TWO crabs that are going to get 5+ inches across the shell, in a 20 long. This is definitely not what I was planning--but what to do about it?? Can't put any fish with them, for sure. But at least they are cute! I'm keeping them for now, we'll cross the too-big bridge if/when we get there. I must say I am still, probably irrationally, intimidated by the water changes on SW!
  13. OP

    Lchi87ModeratorModerator Member

    So it's a little before 1am right now but I'm up watching my little tank much like a parent watches their newborn sleep the first night they are home. I wasn't expecting to feel this way about a build lol.

    Anyway, I wanted to share this video. I think I'm in love, my heart was racing, haha!

    Also, signs of life already!

    I happened to be staring at his burrow when he dashed out, did a lap around the rock and went back in lol. Some sort of pod/scud ? Might be a tasty treat for a future inhabitant.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2018
  14. grantm91

    grantm91Fishlore VIPMember

    Ahh man you made the Rocks and Sand look good already ! Looks like a amphipod to me, you will see more stuff with all that LR, to answer your questions from the first post, you can use API. The api fw and api sw are Identical apart from the sw ph test is high range, ive used it twice or something the ph that is. I used API the whole time but just bought my first salifert test last week, for kh, as im getting into more advanced corals and I just wanted a more accurate reading out of curiosity too. Also yes, dose ammonia as you would to cycle a fw tank, but with all that LR don’t be surprised if you never see nitrite. Your power head is adequate, Id have it on the other side so its aiming at your main rock feature, just preference though I guess, also I cant tell from the pic but in a sw tank its important to maintain good surface agitation. 9fd32c4fb1d1828659b26a1554be6d94.jpg I get mine by having the powerhead close to the surface. I think your more than ready for this, as for stock I want to say clown as mine are my favorites, even though one bites me rather ferociously, they are just so inquisitive of everything and love to hand feed.
  15. Nanologist

    NanologistWell Known MemberMember

    OMG... YAY!!! All the nudging paid off!

    Yeah, cycle the same as a FW tank and the API tests are fine for a FOWLR. You won't need more accurate testing until you want to add coral. The amount of flow you have looks good for now as well.

    I'm so happy to hear you're thinking of other options besides clownfish. They're cute but just as @AngelTheGypsy said "Doesn't everyone have to have Nemo". This is why I refused to get them. A majority of SW tanks have them, so I was already bored of them. I wanted something different. There's so many options in SW even in a 10g and personally I just wouldn't do a pair of clownfish in anything less than a 20g. Especially since I'd want a nice big RBTA(rainbow bubble tip anemone) to host them.

    I'm so excited to see you taking the plunge into salty water!
  16. JRS

    JRSWell Known MemberMember

    Following. I like you are doing a 10G. That is a size I could find room for in the future if i decide to follow you all in. I guess I always assumed a SW tank would have to be bigger. Good luck. Can't wait to see the progress.
  17. OP

    Lchi87ModeratorModerator Member

    Tank’s cleared up quite a bit overnight:
    Saw the amphipod scuttling around too; can’t wait to see who else shows up!

    Hah thanks, I wasn’t thinking it looked at that great. I was rushing to get the LR arranged quickly so I could get the sand in there and fill the thing with water already lol. ButI think I let the rock dry out too much with all the tinkering so I’m not sure how “live” it still is.. :(
    Noted on the test kit and powerhead placement, definitely need more surface agitation as my surface doesn’t ripple quite like yours.
    Yes, I have all of you to blame. :p what are some other fun 10g options? The clown piqued my interest as it seems like they act like cichlids but I would love to wait till I had enough room for a pair like you said. Thanks for spelling out your abbreviations, I’m still learning all the terms and you saved me a trip to google lol

    I thought so too, but my sw people on this thread convinced me I could pull it off so I am giving it a shot. :) Thanks for following!
  18. Jayd976

    Jayd976Well Known MemberMember

    If the pod survived I’m sure the rock was kept wet enough. Looks great can’t wait to see how it progresses. I just finished an 8 week cycle finally started adding fish to my 75 yesterday. You got some nice pieces of LR looks like more than 10lbs too but hard to really tell size and density of rock from pics. Either way it looking great
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2018
  19. grantm91

    grantm91Fishlore VIPMember

    @Lchi87 I think you’ll get an insta-cycle with all that rock, your 10g is like a echo of my 16 ! 41705786002669a3248a382080dc7bbc.jpgnicrew gang fo’ life haha, even kept some brown paly/zoa things under mine.
  20. stella1979

    stella1979ModeratorModerator Member

    I does look really great Lchi! I bet the rock is still very alive, and there may only be a little loss. No worries, it'll produce ammonia for your cycle. Let's just remember that live rock gets shipped! I agree with moving the powerhead into more open water, but I would also move the HOB so they remain opposite to each other. ;) Can't wait to see what you come up with for the stocking and I also love the awesome Petal! :p I think I'll call on my favorite salty stocking guru, oh @KinsKicks :D:D Got some more obscure 10g stocking options for Lchi?

    Edit: Oh yeah, the slimer is indeed the bright green branchy thing. It's an acropora coral that I am totally unprepared for, but I got a sweet deal and made a friend, so it's sure fun to try. :)