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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
29G bare bottom + 10 gallon sump + large skimmer build

hey guys,
I created my self introduction thread earlier and figured i would copy my tank specs and water parameters over from that thread:

photos of tank in this thread: http://www.thereeftank.com/forums/f360/hello-everybody-229694.html

as far as tank specs goes:
29 gallon aqueon tank
Reef Octopus 110 SSS
1 sicce xstream 925 gph wave pump (aimed through rock 'tunnel')
1 sicce xstream 1320 gph wave pump (pointed at skimmer intake)
Radion XR15W pro
pvc rock "tunnel" (pics posted in thread linked above)

6-stage RO/DI from filter direct (AR-122 i believe) 120 gpd

water parameters:
nh3/nh4 - BTR (below testable range) test bottoms out at .1 ppm
no2 - BTR test bottoms out at .1 ppm
no3 - BTR test bottoms out at 5 ppm, colour matches the 'zero' square
ph - 8.3-8.5
po4 - BTR (I'm not fooled)
Mg - 1360 ppm
alkalinity - 3.1 Meq/l 8.7 dKH
Ca - 410 ppm
am i missing anything?

tank has been up and running/cycling since april 8th, looking to get a small pair of clownfish perhaps next week (am i nuts? is this a good idea?)

I was told fish should be introduced and then the tank allowed to cycle again if need be before thinking about introducing corals, what are your opinions?

currently the only livestock in the tank is bacteria and some hitch hikers from the live rock (about 60 percent dry caribsea life rock and 40 percent LR from the local stores tanks). brittle stars and such.
 

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Welcome to TRT! Looks like your off to a good start! Adding fish should not start another cycle if your tank was cycled properly. The whole point of "cycling" your tank in the beginning is to be sure your bacteria is build up enough to handle the bioload of your first fish. Did you start with live rock or dry? Did you put in anything to kick off the cycle like fish food or a piece of shrimp? Did you see any ammonia at all between now and the 8th of April? If you want to introduce two fish at once (the pair of clowns) then you want to be sure your tank is up to the task.

After your first addition you should wait a few weeks between each following addition to allow the bacteria to grow. Corals don't really add to the bioload much but when adding them this early in a tank you risk losing them to "the uglies" - a stretch of different types of algaes that will pop up over the next few months as your tank stabilizes. Many have lost corals by adding them too soon and having them smothered by algae.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've been feeding lightly every day or two, using hikari bloodworms i have in the freezer from my guppy tank. ive been rinsing them with RODI water. also the occasional finely ground pinch of flake food.

about 60 percent of the rock is caribsea life rock (dry) and about 40 percent is LR from the local fish store. i saw ammonia for the first week (barely a reading) and nitrite for another week roughly, i had a reading of 5 ppm nitrate on the 16th, didnt do further nitrate tests until earlier this week (the 28th) when i got a zero reading, I've done several nitrate tests since all come up as close to zero as my eyes can see.

so if I've been feeding lightly every day or two (close to what 2 clown fish would eat but not quite) and have gone a week without any ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate should I be ok buying my clowns? i can do a fairly large food dump and not see any ammonia.

that makes sense as far as avoiding corals until the uglies have passed, i can understand that.
 

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I would think you're fine. Parameters are in range, tank is able to process food, why not?

Little clowns ARE harder to keep- much more delicate.

Could you start with a cheap $4.99 Damsel for a few weeks first? Then you can be sure your water is fine, and can buy the clowns (and/or return the damsel) without second thoughts
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
perhaps, but only if they let me return the damsel; I don't want more than the two clowns in the long run as its not a very big tank.

they aren't wild caught and haven't been shipped or transported previously, would that make any difference? they were born and raised in the tank at the store they are currently in, eating commercial food and all that.

I've been watching them grow up for several months whenever i go in (all the time), since they were about 1/4 inch long. (ridiculously cute, like 50 of them all swimming in a perfect sphere just a bit bigger than a golf ball.)
 

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I say just go for it. Get them. Your tank looks great, the parameters are stable, just get the clowns. As long as they're not TOO small (Under 3/4 inch), they'll be great! Tank bred is nice since they get used to the food and conditions in artificial reefs
 

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If it were me I'd up the feeding - really feed it heavily for another week to make sure there are no spikes. That or dose it with pure ammonia to 2 ppm - if it zeros out in 24 hours then you know your biofilter is ready. Remember the most important part of this hobby is patience! Rushing into things wastes the fishes life and your money.

Also, I do not recommend a damsel "test fish". You should never add any fish if you're not confident that your tank is ready for it, so no need for a test. Also damsels are nasty and incredibly hard to catch. So good call on not going that route.
 

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Also, I do not recommend a damsel "test fish". You should never add any fish if you're not confident that your tank is ready for it, so no need for a test. Also damsels are nasty and incredibly hard to catch. So good call on not going that route.
I was not suggesting he should use it to "cycle" the tank, as it already has good parameters. Also, as the only fish, how hard could it be lol?
 

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I was not suggesting he should use it to "cycle" the tank, as it already has good parameters. Also, as the only fish, how hard could it be lol?
Extremely! I stupidly put my little striped damsel in my 40B - he's about the size of a quarter so I thought "eh, how much trouble could he cause?". -.- A LOT. I had to remove EVERY PIECE OF ROCK from my tank to catch him after he harassed all of his (much larger) tank mates.
 

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Sounds good! I also recommend a good cleaning before the new additions. Have you changed the water at all? You'll want to take a turkey baster and blow any detritus off/out of the rocks. Also you may want to look into a CUC - clean up crew. Snails or hermits to eat the excess food and work on the algae. Actually, now that I think about it, your brittle stars that hitchhiked in on your rock may be eating that little bit of food you've been putting in before it could cause any ammonia...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I've been keeping up with cleaning to an extent (heck that's why i chose bare bottom in the first place), but ill do a good clean before I introduce the fish. any recommendations on a good way to deal with the brownish gold (diatom?) dusting on several of the rocks? wondering about maybe doing a water change and pulling some of the rocks out and taking a toothbrush to them in the dirty water in the bucket.

As far as water changes, I've been changing out about 3-4 gallons a week. mostly as detritus and dust have been coming off the dry rocks like crazy. its slowed down in the last week though.

I have been using a turkey baster on the rocks daily, seems to work great.

how much does 1 brittle star eat? its hard to say how many are in the tank but i would guess conservatively there could be anywhere from 10-30 in there, still i cant imagine they eat much?

do brittle stars produce ammonia when they poo? if so would it be less ammonia than the food they ate to make that poo would have released if allowed to decompose?
 

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Most of the diatoms should come off with the bastering, if not feel free to take a toothbrush to them in the tank - if you're running a filter and a skimmer they should catch what's floating around. Sounds like you already have a good maintenance routine in place. :thumbsup:

My brittle stars always have their little greedy arms waving for food, so I think they could probably eat quite a bit. I don't think their poo would be enough to register any ammonia though if you had any bacteria working in your tank though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I picked up two black and white Ocellaris clowns earlier today after a good tank cleaning.

I brought them home and acclimated them to their new tanks conditions by rigging up a 1/4 inch airline tube to quickly drip from the aquarium into the bucket the fish were in. Every 5 minutes or so I removed about a cup of water from the bucket (as the tank water continued to drip in) until I had removed about 1.5 times as much water from the bucket as it had in it when I brought it back from the store; at this point I checked that the water temperature in the bucket matched the tank water, and netted the fish and swiftly placed them in the aquarium.

they seemed more or less at home right away, and still seem to be doing really well.

they are both just under an inch long and both seem to like each other, they're hanging out like they've known each other since birth (which I suppose they have.)

- Sean




:needpics:
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
they're so cute I think my cichlids are getting jealous of all the attention they're getting; they can see me hovering over the tank from across the room. :lol: ... Could just be me imagining it.

thanks for the kind words and checking my new additions out!

- Sean
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
just for kicks, a photo of my (mostly) Mbuna tank.

it's rather dirty at the moment so I apologize for that (algae on rocks and such); I normally only let the algae grow on the left side glass because some of the fish like to pick at it in between feedings (check out the second photo).

enjoy :)
 

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