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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Ok new tank and I thought I would dedicate its own thread since I have more questions specific to this tank and different equipment/goals etc.

The tank is setup in my basement on my workbench, it is a 20 gallong long. And I will be keeping it as simple as I can without sacrificing excellent water quality.

Equipment:

20g Long (30x12x12in)
96watt Current Sundial 4x24w T5HO (2x12k, 2xActinic)
Marineland Penguin 150 (contains chemi-pure, no pad or bio wheel)
Aqueon 500gph
Hydor Koralia 550gph PH
Hydor Koralia 425gph PH (as needed to remove any dead spots)
100w Hydor Heater
Digital Temp Probe/Display
20lbs live rock
15lbs live sand (still unsure what sand I wanna use)

Plans:

Plans for this tank is part reef part frag tank. The rock will be arranged on one half of the tank, probably the left side and the right side will be mostly sandbed with some rubble rock for frags. My only concerns right now is filtration, since its just a HOB power filter. I know I need to change pads often and rinse every few days, along with weekly water changes. Hopefully this will keep nitrates less than 5ppm. If not i think im gonna have to bite the bullet and get some sort of skimmer, but again im trying to keep this cheap and simple for the most part.

Plans for inhabitants are small, besides lots of frags I will only be having a small clean up crew and a pair of true percula clowns. Also a BTA or carpet anemone is planned but this can all change before the tank is done cycling. The nem may not be able to work out in this tank but I will have to see months down the road when that time comes.

The tank must be able to support everything from softies to some of the easier SPS. The lighting will be sufficient, so filtration again is my only concern only softies and LPS for a while, SPS just might not work out.

Questions:

1.) I will be using the penguin 150 with the biowheel. I will be taking out the biowheel. I assume this is a good idea, correct?

2.) Will filtration be my biggest problem here? I do weekly water changes so I do not think water quality will suffer, however I do expect nitrates around 5ppm or so. Or is it completely possible to have 0 with this setup?

3.) I'm a little worried with pH and gas exchange with the tank in my basement. It is an apartment so I cant drill a hole to run a hose outside for air or anything. And I have somewhat low pH upstairs so I imagine the basement to be worse. Should I just keep a fan running down there to circulate air? It can get kind of stale down there.

4.) Since the main goal of this tank is to grow out corals and frags, what is the best spectrum arrangement for my T5 bulbs, is the 2 12k and 2 actinic good for growning frags? or what works best? 1 12k and 3 actinic?

Thanks for the help, and ill be sure to get pics up when I can. I might do videos I might have to make this a youtube tank lol. Never done any youtube stuff so I might give that a try.

 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Tank is filled and starting the cycle. Heater, power filter, Koralia, and Lights are running and working properly. I also got the digital temp monitor in, water is cold right now. Getting it up to proper temp. Will be fine tuning salinity and I have added a starting dose of bio-boost to kick things off. Also I am probably going to add the other Koralia 425 nano I have to the other side of the tank.

I expect the tank to cycle quickly will live sand, rock from an established tank and the bacteria that I am adding. My initial cycle on my 29g was only a few days until all ammonia and nitrite where gone. Pretty much just a little bit of a waiting game now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I took out the biowheel as I know thats only gonna cause problems, but I do have a filter pad in for now. I will rinse the pad every few days and replace every other week, but may just eventually only have carbon in it if nitrates and phosphate get too high. I dont really think its gonna be a problem tho. If I need to buy a skimmer a few months down the road, i think ill be able to do that. Still plans for the 29g so this tank could inherit the Reef Octopus BH-1000 I have on it if I upgrade to sump with in-sump skimmer. This is a bit down the road though.

I should be ok as long as I keep up on cleaning and change the pads along with weekly water changes, right??
 

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Well, might as well follow along on this on to... Tank looks... Wait, where's the pics??? I'm curious to see how thing go without the skimmer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ill try it Nate. Im gonna leave the pad in for a few days to catch all the fines and sand/silt in the tank from setup but after the water clears up real nice ill remove it and see how things go. Maybe just a small bag of carbon?

Yes pics are coming lol. I found my first hitchhiker of course it cant be nothing cool. Just a medium sized aiptasia that I will be able to get rid of easy. I might make a video on killing this guy too, since I always see so many people having problems with them and I find them very easy to get rid of with Aiptasia-X by Red Sea.

Pic will be up later tonight. Im trying to let the water clear up a good amount. Can almost see the back glass:) Ill be looking on Craigslist, if I find a cheap HOB skimmer, I might have to grab it, but I really dont think it will be needed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Got some pics up. Found 2 zoa polyps that hitchhiked on the rock! Cool ill have something to stair at while it cycles lol. I hoping they make it through the cycle, they arleady have been through a ton.

Water is now 79.0F
SG 1.024 (will get up to 1.026 (35ppt))
Ammonia .25
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 0

Let the it begin!

Aiptasia (only have found 2 so far, not bad)


Zoa Polyp


Cloudy


Clearing Up
 

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You could keep the aiptasia and get a couple false percs clowns. Just thinking that might be easier than killing it off?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You kinda lost me there lol. Why false percs? And ive dealt with aiptasia before, and there is only 2 of them, it will take literally 2 mins to get rid of them for good. Im probably gonna make a video of doing this to help someone because I dont really understand why people think they are so hard to get rid off. If you got a lot just throw in a few peppermint shrimp to eat the smaller ones and kill the big ones with Aiptasia-X. Since I only have 2 and they are maybe half and inch im just gonna give them a nice treatment of Aiptasia-X.

Im a little concerned with the 100w heater I got for this tank tho. It really looks like its having a hard time maintaining temp in my cold basement. I may have to get a 150w and use this 100w to heat up mixed saltwater. Right now tank is at 78F but if we get them below zero days like we do here in ohio im afraid the 100w just isnt gonna be enough.
 

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Bro, I live in Indiana, I understand those days all to well. Maybe you could add another small heater to help this one keep up? I said the false percs cause at the moment I couldn't think of any others :D what can I say, I'm a little off today, I only had I cuP of coffee this morning...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well it is new years day, I completely understand lol. Coffee just cant do it for me, more like hours of sleep haha. Yeah I was thinking of either getting another 100w or just getting a 150w and using the current one I have for water changes. But im gonna see how this one can handle the cold first. Tank is cycling so nothing in there to get hurt from a few degree temp drop. So when it gets in the negatives ill see how it handles. Nothing down here for insulation besides concrete walls so I imagine its gonna get pretty cold down here. First winter in this apartment so I dont know yet.

As far as additions to this tank, I want something very interesting with lots of personality. Something to keep me watching when Im down here reloading ammo, which is where the tank is, on my reloading bench.

Some that I have thought of:

Jawfish (not too sure bout this one tho since my sandbed is only about and inch)
Pair of True Percula Clowns w/ BTA
Pistol Shrimp and gobie pair
Pom Pom crabs
etc.

These are options that im thinking about. Anyone got anymore suggestion for me to look at? I dont want more than 2 fish in the tank, trying to keep the bioload small yet enough to keep me looking at the tank.
 

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I have always been partial to the royal gramma myself, that and the yellow headed jawfish. I think the jawfish needs like 4" of sand with rubble to build their burrow. The jawfish eats a lot of plankton, so I'm not sure how well that would work out on this new of a tank.

I think you will find your basement isn't going to get as cold as you think, usually the will stay around 50 - 60 year round unless you have a lot of window wells, or it's a walk out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well I shoot anything I can get my hands on but I mostly reload Shotshells, .45 Auto, and .270. I reload for friends and crap too sometimes. Mostly .45 tho until I get my .308 ive always wanted Rem. Model 700 just for them poor groundhogs that be bothering the farmers around here lol.

And I think im gonna be doing a youtube video or two tonight on the new setup and then an instructional video on getting rid of aiptasia. Something different to do with my bored self.
 

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Oh man, I'd love to get a .308, but a scope to do that rifle justice cost as much as the bare bone rifle. My buddy just got a .50 cal desert eagle, that things a hoss! I got a few others on my one day list, my first one is gonna be an AR-15.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Ok well welcome diatoms, they are starting to make their first appearance, good sign, and the cycle is going good. Ammonia is climbing, at about .5ppm but no sign of nitrite yet.

Have spotted two more hitchhikers. Bristle worms I think, I do not think they are fire worms but I really am not sure how to tell the difference. I can probably get rid of them in one night if I tried. Ive been told not to really worry about them, is that true? The 2 zoa polyps are still alive, so I would imagine if they can survive a few more days untill ammonia peaks then they will probably survive the cycle.
 

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lol what do you shoot.. haha didnt see this thread till now and id say the 2 12k and 2 actinic should be good esp cause 20l is low/short err whatever you gunna be using ati bulbs? if so im pissed.. still dont have ati yet here.. if i try replacing my bulbs before its time im sure ill get my head chewed off i like the rocks you have in there and you have a nice amount of bottom space in the substrate
you gunna put in some egg crate like frag racks? id recommend atleast a small one
 
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