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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Started a 29 gallon with a homemade 10 gallon sump about a week ago. I am using 20 lbs of live sand as well as 6 lbs of live rock and 40 lbs of dry rock. The sump is just being used for storage of the protein skimmer and heater. I have two powerheads (azoo 317gph and Super Aqua 158gph) one reflecting off the front glass and the other off the back glass. Also using a Fluval marine and coral LED light. I am fairly crafty so most of my projects are diy just to prepare everyone!

So far i haven't seen any spikes in the nitrates or nitrites while the ammonia has a reading but not high. It has only been a week so is this normal? With the two powerheads and the overflow to the sump do i have enough circulation? Should i add another powerhead? I did have a sudden coralline algae bloom but i have read its nothing to be concerned with. I am new to saltwater but have had freshwater tanks for 5 years. I am open to any information regarding the hobby. :) :fish: Will continue to post pictures as i continue through the process.

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Welcome to TRT!:popcorn::pint: I'm all ready. Best of luck with your journey,
Hack
 

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Welcome to TRT! Love the rock work, looks great. :thumbup:

What most of us do to kick off a cycle is to throw a piece of table shrimp in the tank. As it rots it'll cause ammonia and feed your bacteria.

I'm guessing what you're seeing are diatoms or cyano and not coralline. Coralline may be on your live rock but it usually doesn't really expand at a rapid rate in a new tank. Diatoms are usually the first thing we see, it's kind of like a brown dust. Cyano is also normal in a new tank - it's purple, like coralline, but it comes off in slimy sheets instead of being rock hard.

I would suggest adding more powerful powerheads or more of them. Right now you're at about a 15x flow rate - depending on your stocking plans you'll probably want to be somewhere between 25-40x. The important thing is to make sure you don't have many "dead spots" where detritus will land and just sit and soak into your rocks and sand. It also looks like you've positioned both of your powerheads very low, I'd suggest having at least one higher up to make sure you have good surface agitation for gas exchange.
 

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Really like the rock symetry that you have! As for flow I believe some corals need chaotic and random flow to thrive so another pump could be a good thing. From what I have heard is that it is tough to get to the point of too much flow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Welcome to TRT! Love the rock work, looks great.


What most of us do to kick off a cycle is to throw a piece of table shrimp in the tank. As it rots it'll cause ammonia and feed your bacteria.

I'm guessing what you're seeing are diatoms or cyano and not coralline. Coralline may be on your live rock but it usually doesn't really expand at a rapid rate in a new tank. Diatoms are usually the first thing we see, it's kind of like a brown dust. Cyano is also normal in a new tank - it's purple, like coralline, but it comes off in slimy sheets instead of being rock hard.

I would suggest adding more powerful powerheads or more of them. Right now you're at about a 15x flow rate - depending on your stocking plans you'll probably want to be somewhere between 25-40x. The important thing is to make sure you don't have many "dead spots" where detritus will land and just sit and soak into your rocks and sand. It also looks like you've positioned both of your powerheads very low, I'd suggest having at least one higher up to make sure you have good surface agitation for gas exchange.
I added an aqua tech 1321gph wave maker power head to the top and have an 800gph on the way. Should I just use those two and remove the much smaller pumps? Or should I keep the smaller pumps near the bottom to prevent the collection of detritus in the back of the tank?

And yes diatoms are what I have. I have been doing lots of research. Mixing up terms left and right.
 

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You'll have to try out different powerheads and positioning. Each tank is a little different, so you'll have to find one that works for the way your rocks are set up and how they block/redirect flow. Finding just the right flow is something that has given all of us a few grey hairs. :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Things have moved along nicely over the last month and a half. The cycling process took no time to complete with all the live rock, but i waited a full 5 weeks before bringing home my new fish. 2 ocellaris clowns and 2 neon velvet damsels. I have read mixed reviews about clowns and damsels together, however i thought if all starting at adolescents we can see how they grow together. Has anyone had any experience with these two types of fish?

Also, I'm thinking of adding a goby to stir up the sand some to prevent any detritus build up at all.

There is a significant amount of green algae growing on my glass and live rock (Not pictured), is this anything to concern myself with?

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ohhhh noooo valvet damsel. Those things are so mean. Mine use to pick on my blue tang and any fish bigger then her. They get big really really fast too.
 
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