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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all.. Let me start by saying this is a fantastic forum with some great people and advise!!! Also, let it be known that I am a noob to marine aquariums after a few years of fresh water set-ups...

Now that that is done, let's get to why I'm bothering you guys... I have recently set up my first shot at a sw bitope :beer: and I had alot of questions. I've searched but could not find answers for all of them so here are a few...

The tank has been up and running for 2 days now with the water and sand but only 1 day with the LR... I appear to have skin or something of that nature sluffing of the rock in several places.

My question is: Is this something living or is it already dead?... If it is living, can I keep it from dieing like pointing my powerhead in another direction or something?... I picked the rock and just about all of my supplies up from Aquabuys in the Atlanta area and Sam, the owner (one hell of a great guy and he has great prices) told me there were a few corals on the rock that Lupe and his boys left(pictures below)... Is that what I'm seeing the loose skin on?... Sorry about any redundant or dumb questions here, like I said I am a noob...

Here's a few pics if I get this attachment thing right::arg:

Pic 3.JPG

pic 1.JPG

Pic 2.jpg

Here's a few other pics... One shows the coral that I hope makes it through the cycle... I suppose there's no way of telling what it could be at this stage...

Pic 4.JPG

Pic 5.JPG


Here's a breakdown of my setup:
  • 24G DLX Nano Cube
  • 30-35 lbs of live sand (Bahama Oolite & Live Reef)
  • 19-20 lbs of Pukani LR (Walt Smith Lupe's choice????) Beautiful rock!!!
  • R/O-D/I water from Capuccino Bay Aquarium
  • Reef Crystals salt
  • Stock lighting (2 36W PC and 2 LED moonlights)
  • Stock powerhead with extra 1/2" Lin-Loc to redirect fan nozzle
  • 75W heater
  • Surface skimmer
  • Carbon bag from nano filter until I can get ahold of a mini protein skimmer
  • Small Mag-Float
  • LCD Thermometer
Here's my water specs as of last night... I will be re-testing later on tonight before the game:
  • Specific Gravity - 1.025
  • Salinity - almost 34
  • Temp - 78F
  • PH - 8.0
  • Alk - Normal
  • Ammonia - 0.25
  • Nitrate - 2.5
  • Nitrite - 0.1
The gravity and salinity show high, but I believe it's my swing arm hydrometer reading a little high... I could be wrong on that though... Any advise would be greatly appreciatted on what I may need to do to try to keep anything on my rock alive if possible... I know I have a long wait ahead of me before adding anything to the tank- my wife thinks I'm crazy because I already spend so much time with the tank and there's hardly anything in it, but it's just so **** cool!!!:dance:
 

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Definitely buy a refractometer with ATC (automatic temperature compensation). I just got my first one and it is amazingly accurate. Do some regular water changes, maybe once per week and be sure to keep PH, temp and salinity stable. I would raise the temp up to 80 degrees for the cycle I would say higher but your trying to save some stuff. I don't think you have much of a chance of saving it but it is definitely worth a shot for the encrusting stuff. If the LR was placed in a large established tank for some cure time it might make it, but, with the ammonia reading you have it doesn't look like it was.

Last bit of advise... be patient.
 

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Welcome to TRT! 1.025 is good- no problems there. Wouldn't hurt to increase the temp to 80 like Jason said- I try and keep my tanks at exactly 80.

Consider joining the Atlanta Reef Club if you aren't already a member. We will have the next meeting at Marine Fish in Marietta on the 15th. ARC members get 30% off at the store which is a great deal. Being in a reef club is a great way to get free frags too!!
 

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Welcome!!! Nice to have you aboard!!!

Very nice looking tank. :thumbup: Keep us posted on your progress.
 

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one more thing... patience. the lr will tank about a week, at least, to cure. i have a nine gallon odyssea, started it in october of 2005, that looks a lot like yours. i love mine. it's been an adventure and i've had to learn to have patience. you can pm me if you need any newbie to newbie advice. good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Update

Thanks everyone for the inputs... The tank cycled alot quicker than I thought it would-about 15 days. I raised the temp to around 79+- .4 degrees and tested params at least once a day... It was textbook from what I read would happen except I thought the nitrite would slam down from >1 to 0... It actually dropped initially to about 0.25 for a day or 2 and then to 0... During which, I had a pretty big diatom bloom which I'm still overcoming... I lost pretty much all signs of life on the beautiful rock during the cycle, probably due to the high nitrites... Over the last 3 days I have added some livestock...

Here's some pics:

Plate 1.JPG

Plate 2.JPG


Here's what's new:
  • TR Percula Clown (still not decided on a name, it'll be Marlin, Slemo, Orange-White, Perky, Little Fred or Clowny when the kids make up their mind). He's tiny, about an inch at most.
  • Ball Sponge on a chunk of LR
  • About 15 Blue Legs
  • 2 Scarletts
  • 5 Astreia snails
  • 2 Emerald Crabs
  • Small colony of Pulsating Xenia on half an oyster shell
  • Long tentacle plate coral
I had a small spot of green surface algae on a piece of LR during the cycle which has gotten larger and I just noticed tonight there is some purple growing right next to it now... Hope it's my coralline!!! The only thing I've dosed is SeaChem Reef Advantage Calcium to bring it up to 400ppm and some SeaChem Reef Plus Vitamins/Aminos along with a few 10% water changes...

Hopefully I can hook up with a few local reefers(Newnan,GA) to chat with and maybe pick up some frags in the future (wallets pretty empty now)... I'm really considering joining the ARC, wish I could have attended the last meeting detailing fragging...
 
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