Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    MARSH GUEST
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    31
    Post Thanks / Like
    Post Thanks / Like

    Newbie here! Tank set up/flow/lighting/& other advice

    Hi all! I'm setting up a 150 gallon, 72" long tank. It is set up bean animal style, with a DIY 55gal sump. The equipment I have so far: protein skimmer (aquamaxx q3), 6ft Hamilton technology lift fixture with 3, 250 watt halides and 2 t5Hos, 2 phosban reactors (2 Little Foshies) that I'm planning on running GFO and Carbon in, and space for a refugium in the sump. My questions:

    1. Any other vital equipment? We are thinking of getting a controller (either reef keeper or apex classic)

    2. How do I figure out when and for how long to keep the lighting turned on, for the main display tank. Ive also read I need to turn on the refugium light opposite of the main lighting. I want to have a mixed reef tank of both soft and LPS corals.

    3. I have a few wavemakers, but how do I know if I have too much or too little flow in the tank? Do I include the flow coming from the return pump? What's a good number to shoot for?

    4. Best way to test alk and calcium?

    5. Going through cycling the tank now. Thoughts on Dr Tims Nitrofying bacteria? I have about 150 lbs of dry rock. Also, during the cycle process, how much do my lights need to be on? Also, can I add a pair of clownfish while cycling if I use the bacteria additive, or just do one and pair another with it later?

    6. Thoughts on algae scrubber? Good DIY designs?

    7. Any other advice?

    any advice would be greatly appreciated! This is an overwhelming process!!

  2. #2
    BOD MEMBER Clownfish Chris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Spring 77373
    Posts
    2,164
    Post Thanks / Like
    Post Thanks / Like
    Wow you have a lot of questions. I like it! We are here to help and get you started correctly. Ill answer your questions below:

    1. Any other vital equipment? We are thinking of getting a controller (either reef keeper or apex classic)
    Heaters: Use two or three smaller ones instead of one large one. heaters will eventually fail. If they get stuck in the on position a larger heater will fry your tank. A smaller one may not. You will see a slow temperature rise instead of waking up to boiled fish.

    2. How do I figure out when and for how long to keep the lighting turned on, for the main display tank. Ive also read I need to turn on the refugium light opposite of the main lighting. I want to have a mixed reef tank of both soft and LPS corals.
    Another great question. I leave my blues on for 12 hours and whites on for 6. Over time, you will learn what your corals like and what doesnt grow as much algae.

    3. I have a few wavemakers, but how do I know if I have too much or too little flow in the tank? Do I include the flow coming from the return pump? What's a good number to shoot for?
    If your corals are blasted with flow, you will know you have to much. It will be obvious. Ill post a video of some GSP in high flow soon. They love it!

    4. Best way to test alk and calcium?
    I use Redsea kits. Some have had problems with those. Salifert is another good brand. Stay away from API. Also test magnesium.

    5. Going through cycling the tank now. Thoughts on Dr Tims Nitrofying bacteria? I have about 150 lbs of dry rock. Also, during the cycle process, how much do my lights need to be on? Also, can I add a pair of clownfish while cycling if I use the bacteria additive, or just do one and pair another with it later?
    Lights are unimportant at this time if you have no fish or corals which you shouldn't. Please do not add any livestock until you register no ammonia or nitrites and you do show some nitrates. Once that happens you can add a pair of clowns and a small clean up crew. Go slow and test daily. Ammonia is bad and if you see it, you are going to fast after the initial cycle. Tim's is good stuff that will speed up the cycle. Feed the tank as if there was a single fish. the rotting food will feed the bacteria.

    6. Thoughts on algae scrubber? Good DIY designs?
    They are great too have! Google it for designs. Others may have good designs on this board for you as well.

    7. Any other advice?
    Go slow! Don't Panic! Ask Questions! Dont Panic! Find someone who can mentor you in person. Many club members are willing to do so myself included depending on location.

    any advice would be greatly appreciated! This is an overwhelming process!!
    Chris
    M.A.R.S.H. - BoD
    Marine Aquarium and Reef Society of Houston

  3. #3
    Supporting Member PorpoiseHork's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Spring Branch
    Posts
    170
    Post Thanks / Like
    Post Thanks / Like
    For initial cycling to adding livestock and corals this is what worked very well for me.

    I put in 10# of live sand/gal to start with. 7-10# of cured live or dry live rock and once the tank is up add Bio-Spira and let it run without lights for a couple weeks. During this time ghost feed the tank with a small amount of flake food into the tank filter/sump inlet to feed the bacteria and speed the nitrogen cycle. Keep an eye on your basic water chemistry like PH, Alk, and salt during this time. After two weeks you should have a film coat on all the glass and rock. Run a full test and as long as you don't have any detectable ammonia and your nitrites and trates are below 10ppm you're goot to add your first few fish. Just make sure they are hearty and nothing too expensive in case you lose some. You can also start adding your cleanup crew. Stay away from those cleaner crew packs you can buy online as they tend to sell you waaaaaaaaaaay too much especially for a new tank. As a result there is not enough detritus and algae to keep them all alive. You will have a a big die off and thus hammer the nutrient levels of the tank. Best thing I found was add 2-3 hermits, nassarius snails, and ceriths per pair of fish.
    The next thing that will happen is you will get a bloom of diatoms (brown algae). It's ugly looking, but harmless. It just means you are on one of the last stages of the full cycle. Hermits like the scarlet leg and tuxedo urchins are great for knocking this down. After the diatom bloom will come the hair algae and pink/red cyano. A lawn mower blenny will go to town on this for you, and they are fun to watch. The cyano can be taken care of by removing the rock that has it, and blasting with water and then peroxide. This will kill the cyano and the rock can go right back in, or if it's really bad run the tank dark for 3 days then do a 20% water change to remove the excess nutrients in the water. You can also use Chemi-clean to kill it, just be sure to follow the instructions.
    After the cyano and hair algae you will likely get the bright green algae that covers the rock pointed up. Trochus and turbo snails work well for this. And at this point ammonia and nitrites should be at zero, and you will likely have nitrate and phosphates in the tank. Treat with Prime and use a a phosphate removal product like phos-ban or something. Once these are below 5ppm you will be in good shape. Total time will be a month by now and you can start slowly adding leather corals like toadstools etc. They are very easy to keep, just be sure to look up proper dipping methods to keep or reduce the chances of adding unwanted pests to the tank. Just keep an eye on your water chem and don't over feed the fish and you will be good to start adding LPS within another few weeks.

  4. #4
    MARSH GUEST
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    31
    Post Thanks / Like
    Post Thanks / Like
    Thanks for the thorough responses! Very helpful. One follow-up question, other than lights, should I run all my other equipment (or reactors, skimmer, etc), as normal while cycling? Also should the refugium be set up during the cycle?

  5. #5
    Supporting Member PorpoiseHork's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Spring Branch
    Posts
    170
    Post Thanks / Like
    Post Thanks / Like
    I would definitely run the fuge at startup so it cycles at the same time as the tank. For the skimmer that's your call since there is not any real bio load on the system, you would only be pulling out the organics that come off the rock as the tank cycles. However depending on the type of skimmer you have, it will allow you the time to play with it and get it dialed in. For the reactors, especially the phosphate, keep in mind that you will never get the tank 100% free of phosphates, nor do you want to. Phosphate PO4 is an essential compound needed for life. It helps regulate energy, cell membrane development and is readily used by the zooxanthellae as is many other types of algae. Natural sea water does have a very low level of 0.07ppm and keeping your reef tank at or around that level will help you provide a good environment for your reef. So use the active use of phosphate reactors should only be employed if you get a spike in PO4 that needs to be reduced quickly and large volume water changes is not practical at the time before it leads to other issues. So best thing to only run them on an as needed basis. Same thing goes for the GFO/carbon reactor.

    You would be better focusing on creating a good environment for anaerobic bacteria to thrive to combat nitrates than trying to remove all the PO4. This is something that takes time. Somewhere in the order of 2-3 months to build a thriving anaerobic colony for most setups. So even if you're running below .07ppm of PO4 you can still get algae due to the nutrient levels in the system. Best thing I have seen is not over feeding, and have a diverse cleanup crew that will go to town on the detritus but will also work on all the varied forms of nuisance algae you will encounter along the way.

    If there is any single one thing that will help solve many of the issues you may face as you go is performing regular water changes. Getting the nutrients out of the system entirely is the best thing you can do instead of having multiple pieces of hardware to address the underlying issues caused by over-feeding and/or infrequent water changes.

  6. Likes Clownfish Chris liked this post
  7. #6
    Secretary sneezebeetle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    2,222
    Post Thanks / Like
    Post Thanks / Like
    Welcome to MARSH


    Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
    Deanna Horning
    M.A.R.S.H. - Secretary
    Marine Aquarium and Reef Society of Houston


Similar Threads

  1. Newbie Help with lighting
    By shinedalgarn in forum New to the Hobby
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 02-24-2015, 04:29 PM
  2. Advice for newbie switching to led
    By Jhwku in forum Lighting
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 07-03-2013, 07:37 AM
  3. Newbie needing lighting advice
    By cvandyke in forum Marine and Reef General Discussion
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 10-11-2009, 06:37 PM
  4. Nano Newcomer seeking tank/lighting advice
    By in forum Nanos & Micros & Picos - Oh My!
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 07-18-2008, 08:55 AM
  5. newbie needs advice
    By in forum Marine and Reef General Discussion
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 06-04-2004, 06:33 PM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •