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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Very simple setup, hoping to see something cool.... Tank has been running for about 8 weeks, and my equipment is as follows:

-Stealth heater (I think it's the 150w)
-30 Gal. open top tank
-Protein skimmer that is adequate for the tank
-45 Tetra Whisper over-the back filtration
-30" 31W T5 Coralife 10,000k/5,500 actinic
-15 lb. Fuji live rock
-crushed coral substrate
-plenty of live sand

Clean-up crew:
- 3 saltwater snails
-3 hermit crabs
- 1 emerald crab

Residents:
-2 green chromis, (after #3 decided to commit suicide by jumping out of the tank one night...:( )
-1 Clown
 

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Welcome to the hobby. Sounds like you did your homework. I would get another 15lbs of rock if I could.
 

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+1 u should hav about 1 to 2 pounds per gallon and i know it can be expensive but websites like craigslist sometimes deals for live rock cheap, ive got it as low as 2 dollars per pound from there but watch out for fraud
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks David

I am so new at this, but luckily I have a wonderful store in town here. To say that I have fallen in love with the intricacies of saltwater would be an understatement! Thanks for the warm welcome, and I'll see you around!!
 

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The filter can lead to high nitrates in the long term, if it has a filter pad or ceramic pieces that hold bacteria. The only things that I would put in a hang on filter is a bag of activated carbon and/or Polyfilter and/or phosphate removal pads.

How many watts of light, and is it power compact or T5?

A cheap, useful addition would be a clump of chaeto in the display tank. It will help remove some phosphates and nitrogen, and help psychologically with the fish, in case anyone needs a hiding place or a more natural setting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
31W T5's.. I also removed the plastic pieces that were there to retain their bacteria. Basically, It's a bag of charcoal that creates my tank's current. Kind of taking a minimalistic approach at this point, since the tank is somewhat small at this point. Ill definitly look for some chaeto.
 

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Chaeto does not grow on or cling to rock. That's why I like it: it's easy to remove as much as you want. That might he hair algae, which can over grow a rock. The only way I can remove hair algae is with needle nose pliers outside the tank.

Four T5s would be 120 watts/30 gallons, which would give you a lot of choices for corals. If it is only two, you would be limited to fish only.
 

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on your first picture your sand bed area is a little black. you should test your tank. your sandbed might be dying. or it just needs a cleaning.
 

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Just some words of advice that I wish someone had given me in my first few weeks of reefing.
1. ONLY DISASTERS HAPPEN FAST!
2. The rule of 30% try to avoid changing more than 30% of anything at a time. (Obviously emergencies override this rule)
3. Last but over all the best advice I can give... THE MORE YOU READ THE MORE MONEY YOU WILL SAVE!!!!!

Those of you who are more experienced please correct me if I am wrong but those seem to be my 3 golden rules. Xpandomatix you really seem to have done your homework. Go get em Tiger!
 

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Welcome...

A few more tips.

1. RO/DI or distilled only, for top off and mixing new saltwater. (Or just get the LFS stuff). Do not use tap water, ever. Even dechlorinated, do not use it.

2. Water changes, the single most important maintenance you can do.

3. Do not overstock, do not stock quickly. Do not even look at Tangs.

4. Have fun! Remember the KISS method while starting out, Keep It Simple, Stupid. You will see a lot of different equipment, chemicals, and other gimmicks. Your tank will only be as complicated as you want to make it.
 

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id get more LR and ditch the filter..also looks like you may have a lil algae problem some is good but by the pics it looks like its starting to take over
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ok, so I am a little bit of a slacker when it comes to posting, but I have made a few changes with the tank since February. Since then I have upgraded the lighting system, from two T5s to a 250w 15000k mh with 4x 31w 5500k actinic T5s. I will try to put some updated pictures when I get back to my computer. That green hair algae is still a thorn in my side.. still have hermits, Mexican turbo snails, and a lawnmower blenny, yet the battle rages on..
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Ok, some new improvements...

Since my last postings, I have made quite a few changes to the tank. Lets see... where to begin..

Lighting has changed to a 250w 15,000k metal halide system, with 4x 31w 5,500k T5HO actinics, and 4x dual led moonlights. I'm running the actinics for 2 hours in the morning, and in the evening both before and after the halide runs for its 8 hr cycle. Luckily, a small personal fan from wal-mart blowing across the surface of the open tank is enough to keep the tank from overheating without employing the use of a chiller.

Filtration is still the same. Carbon in a bag running through a whisper 45ex filter, but I am now employing a uv sterilizer. The seller included a free 250 gph powerhead, so I am using it as a pump for the sterilizer. Oh what some marine safe tubing and a hose clamp can do! Lol... I also picked up a 150 gph water-mover to push a little opposing current against the output from the powerhead. Seems to be creating enough current to prevent a lot of filamentous algae from forming.

Same heater and protein skimmer as used before.

Beefed up the clean-up crew as well. Here's the rundown:
7 dwarf blue-legged hermit crabs
7 astraea Turbo snails
4 scarlet reef hermit crabs
4 mexican turbo snails (grande')
5 dwarf red tip hermit crabs
2 peppermint shrimp
2 emerald crabs
1 lettuce nudibranch
2 banded coral shrimp
1 serpent sea-star
1 lawnmower blenny

Tank Residents:
1 Hippo Tang (Dorie)
1 Percula clown (Nero)
1 black clown (Oscar)
4 green Chromis (Ickle me, Pickle me, tickle me, and two)
1 6-lined wrasse (Stewie)
1 Royal Gramma (GG)
1 Blue Velvet Damsel (Ninja)

*(Names in captions courtesy of my kids: James, Ike, Lissy, and Garrick. Though I admit, the wrasse's name was mine...)

Active corals at this time:
1.) Some very actively reproducing pulsing Xenia. Got a little frag from my fish store, and omg, it took off...
2.) Some sort of arborescent soft coral. The guy I got it from called it Fuji coral, but I am sure he was mistaken.
3.) Christmas Zo colony
4.) Nice little frag of frogspawn. It is still new to the tank, but I am hoping it takes off. Really pretty stuff.
5.) Small ricordea frag. This little guy has been through hell. Light changes and the works, so it is half bleached. It is showing signs of being on the mend now.
6.) Neon green Favia colony. This has been hanging in there but its not really taking off at this point. Pretty neon green button polyps on the small chunk of rock beneath the xenia.

and a Hawaiian featherduster..

I only use r/o water, and I think the rock is set into a formation that works with the tank/lights/filtration/skimming/flow. I have been doing a 5 gal change every 2 weeks, if not every week if I have time. I do also run a few supplements from time to time. Purple-up, molybdenum/strontium, iodine, calcium buffer solutions tech cb a and b, phytoplex, coralaccel, and rx-p for dips in case of parasites the cleaner shrimp cant get to them.

I'm thinking about getting some assorted mushrooms to start filling out the tank. Anyone have some good ideas of coral species that might work in my tank? I'll be posting some pictures with this post, so let me know what you guys think! Thanks for having an interest in my tank!

-Tim
 

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13 years old and learning
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the tang police is going to get you real soon, unless you get rid of that tang and put him in a tank that is at least 6 ft in length.
 

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I'm starting a 30G in two months. I have the crappy hang-on-the-back filter it came with. You replaced the filter media with carbon and are just using the sand and rocks as filtering right? Also, what kind of skimmer works for you without having a sump? I hear the hang on the back ones are garbage but I'd feel weird running a tank without some type of skimmer. This is going to be a low maintenance tank for me (FOWLR) and I'm not going to drill it for a sump. Yours looks fantastic so any input or lessons learned are appreciated!
 
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