my 55g SW tank *now with in-progress pics

Discussion in 'mastercave' started by mastercave, May 15, 2008.

  1. mastercave

    mastercaveValued MemberMember

    This is going to be my log as I setup my very first ever serious large size fish tank. I will post pics as I make progress on getting my equipment and then as I start getting livestock.

    My plan is for a FOWLR, but eventually I want to get some mushrooms and maybe a BTA for the clownfish.

    So far, here's my damage:

    55g tank, used $75.00
    tank stand $90.00
    Nova Extreme HO T5 with Lunar Lights, 4x54w $197.99
    AquaC Remora Protein Skimmer with MaxiJet 1200 $163.95
    API Rena Filstar XP2 Canister Filter $129.99
    Visi-Therm Stealth Heater 200w $18.79
    API Saltwater Test Kit $17.99
    Digital Thermometer $6.99
    Hydrometer $12.99

    Total so far $713.69

    WOW!! It really adds up and that's not including the salt, aragamax, conditioners, and extra 2x4s to reinforce my stand.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2008
  2. haddaj04

    haddaj04Valued MemberMember

    Good luck with your tank!

    It never ceases to amaze me that the tank stand always costs more than the tank.
  3. OP

    mastercaveValued MemberMember

    Thank you! In regards to tank/stand pricing, I bought a used All-Glass 55g, which retails for about $150. Stands at Petco/smart is usually $110, but I bought mine at Walmart for $90. But $90 or $110, I'm just not sure about 550+ lbs on it, so I built at 2x4 frame on the inside.
  4. Shawnie

    ShawnieFishlore LegendMember

    sounds fun! cant wait to see pics :D :)
  5. OP

    mastercaveValued MemberMember

    All my equipment is setup and I also put in 50 lbs of live sand and 70 lbs of cured live rock.

    For the past 4 days:
    ammonia 0
    nitrite 0
    nitrate 20 (i've been reading 5 before, but then i read the thread about shaking the #2 bottle)
    SG is in the good range
    pH 8.2
    temperature 76.4

    I even added 25 drops of pure ammonia this morning and by night, readings were back to same as before. Is my tank is waiting to start cycling or is it ready?
  6. OP

    mastercaveValued MemberMember

    Today I picked up 4 green chromis and 1 royal gramma basslet for the QT. I decided to use Bio-Spira for the QT since I wasn't sure if my main tank was truly cycled or not. I'm thinking the QT will be occupied constantly for the first few months until my main tank is stocked.

    Anyways, the school of chromis is hovering around the bubble stone and heater. The basslet has been hiding in the flower pot/pvc piping i threw in.
  7. OP

    mastercaveValued MemberMember

    I dropped some mysis shrimp into the QT and now the gramma is out and about exploring it's temporary home. It moves further from its hiding spot with each venture, then scurries back into it's hole for abit

    It's so fun watching it's cautious attitude and how it swims at an angle!
  8. Tumbleweed

    TumbleweedWell Known MemberMember

    They are fun to watch. I have 6 green chromos in my tank and they all hide behind the live rock, but when I come to find them one will come out and then sim back behind and then come back out with all of the rest of them.
  9. OP

    mastercaveValued MemberMember

    Today, I bought 10 snails, 2 emerald crabs, 2 sally light foots, 10 hermits, and 2 cleaner shrimps. also found a new LFS that I will be going back to more often!

    Algae is starting to form on my rocks so thats great! last night I finally got a red light bulb to look at the night life - some worm things, a caterpillar thing, and a hairy crab. amazing!!
  10. lew2000

    lew2000Valued MemberMember


    I would catch one of those worm things to make sure it's not bristle worm(s). When i had my reef tank they can do alot of damage - if not removed - best prevented.
    Check this site out.
    Also for improvement with coraline algae and if you add corals - you will nedd to add some type calcium hydroxide (like kalkwasser) or you can make your own so that calcium is in the water and the carbonate will help keep the pH stable (carbonate hardness)
  11. OP

    mastercaveValued MemberMember

    yikes! i'm pretty sure i do not have a bristle worm, or at least i haven't seen it yet.

    according to , i believe it's spionid worms and siprorbid worms.

    there's also that black and white worm that's next to the snail in the pic. what is that?

    i'm also using Purple-Up everyday.
  12. lew2000

    lew2000Valued MemberMember

    I should have elaborated more - not all bristle worms are harmfull - some are very small - usually if you detect inverts disappearring or damage to corals - and you don't have any fish or other animals that feed on corals - then you can wait with lights out for awhile and you will see it/them active if you have a harmful type of worm, which is what i had to do a few times. As for spionid worms and siprorbid worms, they are the type that encase themselves (featherdusters, etc,) in tubes - so i mis-understood, when i saw the word worm - i thought of the crawing type.

    I have heard very good things about purple-up, a friend of mine uses it in his reef tank - the only thing he told me about purple-up is to follow the directions closely so as not to mess with the pH.
  13. OP

    mastercaveValued MemberMember

    i've been working on the tank for 1 month now. too bad i don't have pics of an empty tank...

    55g AGA
    Rena XP3 canister filter
    AquaC Remora protein skimmer
    Nova Extreme HO T5 4x54W with white lunars, 2 x 10k 2 x 50/50
    Visitherm Stealth 200W heater
    Hydor Koralia 2 and 3

    2 x green chromis
    2 x skunk cleaner shrimp
    10 x red leg hermit crabs
    2 x emerald crabs
    2 x sally light foot crabs
    10 x trochus snails
    6 x small nassarius snails
    3 x tonga nassarius snails
    2 x tiger nassarius snails
    2 x margarita snails

    brown algae forming and starting to die off
    green algae forming on rocks and glass
    coralline algae seems to be starting, using Purple-up everyday

    70 lbs of live rock (fiji branch, tonga, sumatra)
    20 lbs live sand
    30 lbs aragonite sand

    ammonia 0
    nitrite 0
    nitrate < 40