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Old 01/15/2018, 12:45 PM   #1
chunkylovah
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Chunky's first 34g BUILD!

This is my first build ever if you couldn't tell from the title! I've never kept a fish in my life. I do love fishing, preparing fish, cooking fish, snorkeling to look at fish, and occasionally smelling fish. But enough about fish, I'm really doing this for the coral.

I first met coral on the internet. It was love at first sight. I was originally looking online at creepy crawlers and lizards, then somehow slipped into octopus and inverts, then SHWAM! A reef aquarium popped up and that's when I first saw my sweet lady coral within a controlled environment. I felt my heart go a flutter and that's when I knew I would get wet for coral *no regrets*. Fast forward through 6 months of research and saving and SHWAM! I bought my self a Red Sea Reefer 170. Then fast forward another 3 or 4 months of ***** footing around and SHWAM! bought my parts and finally after saving myself for so long, I got sooooooooo wet for coral.

Yes, I realize I talk like a teenager that was repeatedly bludgeoned in the face with the jackhammer of puberty and never really came out the other end a complete man. I'm like a man-boy, if you will.

My reef status is updated on my personal blog HERE!

I will also be updating on this forum to keep you guys up to date on stuff. Sadly though, I am not some kind stranger in the night at your local rest stop. I am posting here in hopes that if I am messing up or have plans on messing up you guys will be the bounce house to my fall. Please let me know if I'm doing something wrong! I like opinions, advice, experience, logic, knowledge and stuff like that so please share!


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Old 01/15/2018, 10:47 PM   #2
JUNBUG361
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Have you started your tank cycle?


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Old 01/15/2018, 10:48 PM   #3
JUNBUG361
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You have pictures?


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Old 01/16/2018, 04:23 PM   #4
chunkylovah
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Yeah I started my cycle. I think it stalled for a bit as my nitrites and nitrates were maxed out (I used dead shrimp to cycle). It stayed like that for like 3 weeks. So I have been cycling for about 1 month + 2 weeks or so. I did a 15 gallon water change 2 days ago or so and my nitrites have finally dropped, while my nitrates are still very high. I am planning on doing one more 20 gallon water change and then introducing a fish. I checked my ammonium a few days ago too and it took about 24 hours to drop back down to zero.

Cycling is the greatest test of my patience ever 0_0... lol its horrible!!! Staring at a box of water and rocks, while some invisible black magic goes on behind the scenes.
Here's a picture of my tank hopefully it with show.




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Old 01/17/2018, 12:08 AM   #5
JUNBUG361
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I know how it is looking at a fish less tank. Planning on adding more live rocks onto the display?


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Old 01/18/2018, 11:36 PM   #6
chunkylovah
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This picture doesn't look like it but I actually had a decent amount of rock in the sump for no reason. I moved some of it up to the display later. I spent two days trying to aquascape before deciding it was best to just start the cycle and worry about aquascaping later.


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Old 01/18/2018, 11:54 PM   #7
chunkylovah
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Question The next move

To make life easier with the water changes, I bought two 20 gallon brute trash cans. Filled them up with water. Mixed one with salt left the other one with regular RO/DI water.

Ammonium and Nitrite are 0, while nitrates are still super high. So I have already done a 15 gallon water change in 5 gallon increments over 3 days. This time I am thinking I will do a single 15 gallon water change all at once.

If that works, then its off to the fishy store to buy a "tester fish".

So I have two questions, what's a good cheap test fish??

and

the big one, what light/s do you suggest for this size tank (24x20x20)?!


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Old 01/19/2018, 08:21 AM   #8
emilese
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chunkylovah View Post
To make life easier with the water changes, I bought two 20 gallon brute trash cans. Filled them up with water. Mixed one with salt left the other one with regular RO/DI water.

Ammonium and Nitrite are 0, while nitrates are still super high. So I have already done a 15 gallon water change in 5 gallon increments over 3 days. This time I am thinking I will do a single 15 gallon water change all at once.

If that works, then its off to the fishy store to buy a "tester fish".

So I have two questions, what's a good cheap test fish??

and

the big one, what light/s do you suggest for this size tank (24x20x20)?!
What is your stocking plan? Some people just put in a damsel as a first fish but often regret it later as many are aggressive. I did that with my first tank, got a domino damsel and later regretted it and had to remove him which was a pain.

If you have an idea of what fish you want, I would start with the hardiest and most peaceful fish you plan to keep then go from there.

Also, do you plan to have corals? If so, what types of corals? Softies? LPS? SPS? The answer to your lighting questions will be based on what types of corals you plan to keep or if you plan to keep corals.

You have a nice start going!


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Old 01/19/2018, 12:31 PM   #9
chunkylovah
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Thanks!

I wanted a pair of clownfish to start but I hate the idea of messing up and killing 2x $30+ fish because of inexperience =[ .

I am planning on just softies and LPS for now. Maybe one day I will get one SPS just to say I did haha.


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Old 01/24/2018, 04:31 PM   #10
chunkylovah
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Just did an update about my reef tank on my blog. If your interested in the long version, it's found HERE!

If that's not your style then I will give you the gist of it!
Basically I took the advice from you guys and got two brute trash cans to help with water changes. I tested my water a few days after my 2nd 15 gallon water change and had 0 ammonium, 0 nitrite, and 5 nitrate. I decided to go ahead and make my way down to my LFS. I was talked into buying a pair of clowns instead of a test fish(I was originally planning on getting a chromis). I brought them home and they have been happy and healthy for the past few days. I am feeding them pellets once a day sometimes twice. A little annoyed that they only eat suspended food and nothing that touches the floor.

I'm wondering what would eat food off the floor of a bare-bottom? Maybe a shrimp?

Other than that I am prepping for my next water change this week, YAY!







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Old 02/02/2018, 04:43 PM   #11
chunkylovah
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HERE COMES ANOTHER ONE! As always for a longer and more ridiculous version with an extra order of ramblings click HERE!

So I decided to finally buy my light for my tank! It was a hard choice between Radion xr15 Pro and Nanobox Duo. I decided to pull the trigger on the Nanobox because I am personally not a fan of Radion's shimmer. It makes me feel like I'm trashed at a rave and if that's how it makes me feel I can only imagine what it makes my extra adorable fish feel like (they probably don't give a sheet). I really wanted a Radion at first, but the lack of an all-in-one wireless connectivity set up at a more competitive price was a big turn off.

So far I like the light, but I'm not crazy about the goose neck. Mine is a bit droopy. I am not sure if that's the way it is suppose to be or not. It's not like actually falling into the water, but if I give it a little love tap it wanders downward as if threatening to jump... Maybe it's a silent cry for help or maybe it's attention seeking, I don't know I am not a psychologist.

A fresh batch of diatoms have also begun to take over my tank. They are gross and ugly. I need a CUC to really go to town on these suckers. My LFS wants $3 - $6 a snail -____- my knowledge on pricing is limited, but that seems a bit much. $6 for a dirt sucking ugly ocean bug just seems like blasphemy, but maybe it isn't, I don't know! Maybe he's whipping out the scuba equipment and diving out every weekend scouring the ocean depths for ugly bugs as I sit here on my wifi-enabled high horse clacking away like an idiot. But seriously I am thinking about just ordering online for this one.

Here's some pictures of the Think Tank this week!














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Old 02/06/2018, 11:09 PM   #12
schneidergarret
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what skimmer are you using and are you going to get any powerheads? also what return pump are you using


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Old 02/08/2018, 01:54 PM   #13
GoNoles
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Originally Posted by schneidergarret View Post
what skimmer are you using and are you going to get any powerheads? also what return pump are you using
It looks like he has an Ecotech MP controller under DT so he should already be using a powerhead


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Old 02/09/2018, 12:20 AM   #14
chunkylovah
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Originally Posted by schneidergarret View Post
what skimmer are you using and are you going to get any powerheads? also what return pump are you using
I'm using a aquamaxx ws-1 protein skimmer. It's working great but the return flow on it is a bit loud. For my powerhead I am using one mp10qd.


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Old 02/24/2018, 04:47 PM   #15
AiKkz
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Did you experience an algae bloom at all?


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Old 04/29/2018, 02:57 PM   #16
chunkylovah
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Did you experience an algae bloom at all?
Sorry just saw this!

I did have a algae bloom, but it was extremely minimal. My system was running a bit to clean. So at the advice of some other members, I slowed down on water changes to like once every 3 weeks. I have definitely noticed a lot of positives from it, chief among them is not wasting salt mix $_$ !!


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Old 04/29/2018, 03:05 PM   #17
chunkylovah
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New updates!

I have been really busy lately, but for anyone interested I have added updates 3, 4, and 5 since the last time I posted on this build.

Here is a link to my eccentric reef blog if your bored.

https://diftsblog.wordpress.com/?s=reef

Long story short, I added a piece or two of coral, added a 2 new members, and have been having problems with crabs, which has recently been corrected.

I will try and post some pictures here a little later!


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