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Hello All!

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Chamby112, Jul 17, 2018.

  1. Chamby112

    Chamby112 Copepod M.A.S.C Club Member

    Hello everyone,

    My name is Charles, and I am new to MASC, but have now been in the hobby for roughly 6 months. I have always been fascinated with marine ecosystems, but was limited in my early life as far as exposure (Grew up in Durango, not a lot of sea life around...). I loved visiting aquariums, and was blessed enough to be able to visit the Monterey Bay aquarium when I was about 10 that really kick-started my fascination. I maintained a freshwater aquarium when I was young, but could never afford saltwater. What really sent me down this path was my time in the USMC though. I was fortunate enough to spend some time in the Red Sea during a deployment, and was able to do some snorkeling in some seriously remote and untouched reef off the coast of Djibouti that changed my perspective completely. Organisms that were familiar from books I've read, but completely unique and different were all just feet from the shore line. Undisturbed and more than likely never visited by humans. It was a true blessing. I knew as soon as I got out and could get my own place, it was time to start the hobby. Now, a little about my current build...

    I have a 32 gallon biocube. I have done some minor modifications, to include a pump upgrade to get a little more flow and GPH rotation. Steves LED's have been installed (Still acclimating with blues currently at 40% and whites 20%). I changed the L joint where the return pump comes in to vinyl tubing to assist with flow as well. I have the intank media basket with filter floss in the top, Purigen in the middle compartment, and Chemi-pure Elite carbon in the bottom. Also in chamber 2 I have the refugium basket with rubble and chaeto as well. I have introduced copepods as well to help establish the tank. I have about 30lbs of live rock and the tank seems to be pretty well established at this point, as it has been up and running for roughly 6 months.

    Livestock:
    -Lightning Maroon Clown
    -Purple Firefish
    -Purple Striped Dottyback
    -Yellow watchman goby (Paired)
    -Tiger Pistol Shrimp (Paired)
    -Cleaner Shrimp
    -3 Nassarius Snails
    -6 Blue leg Hermits
    -6 Red leg Hermits
    -6 small turbo snails

    Coral:
    -1 RBTA (Sm) I'll include a picture
    -Green Polyp Toadstool
    -1 xenia (2 tiny trees have also developed recently on another rock)
    -Green palys
    -orange palys
    -Agent Orange Zoas
    -Macaw Zoas
    -Medium Red Acans
    -Weeping Willow Toadstool
    -1 orange RFA
    -2 small frogspawn frags.

    Current tank issues:
    - I currently have a small outbreak of GHA that I am trying to get ahead of now. I think it was due to the LED upgrade, as the stock lights were not very strong, but the new lights seem to make everything perk up (even the stuff we dont want to). Also, originally I think my sand bed was much to deep. A couple weeks ago I removed a large portion of the sand, and when I did, I think it caused my Nitrate levels to dramatically rise to around 20PPM. I have been doing regular 5 gallon water changes and now have it down to about 10 PPM. Before the removal, I was getting readings of 0-5 PPM regularly. I think the combination of the lighting change with the added nutrient levels helped promote the GHA growth. I can see it starting to spread from the rock it was originally on to others, and so I have shortened the time the LED's are on to about 9 hours (Sunrise to Darkness) with an hour and a half ramp up/down on either end. So the lights are on full for roughly 6 hours. The tank seems to be pretty happy currently but I just want to make sure to get on top of the GHA as I have heard horror stories about it getting out of control. Also, I was running the little coralife protein skimmer, but was unclear if it was required with my current set up. It was restricting flow quite a bit, and I had a lot of particles floating around that I wanted to run through the filter floss, so I removed it for now. I was hoping someone could shed some light on if I should include it, or if it is overkill. I look forward to becoming part of the community and appreciate all the help & future help (There will be much needed :) ). Talk soon! 2263.jpeg 2359.jpeg
     
  2. kchristensen8064

    kchristensen8064 Amphipod M.A.S.C Club Member

    Welcome! Awesome community here. Everyone is very helpful and generous!
     
    Chamby112 likes this.
  3. Dr.DiSilicate

    Dr.DiSilicate Kraken M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. B.O.D. Member-at-Large

    Hey, welcome.
     
    Chamby112 likes this.
  4. TheRealChrisBrown

    TheRealChrisBrown Barracuda M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. B.O.D. Member-at-Large

    Welcome to the club! Looks like you are off to a great start!
     
    Chamby112 likes this.
  5. SkyShark

    SkyShark Tuna Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. B.O.D. Member-at-Large

    Welcome! I’m jealous of your Red Sea snorkeling!
     
    Chamby112 likes this.
  6. Cherub

    Cherub Shark M.A.S.C Club Member

    WELCOME
     
    Chamby112 likes this.
  7. neil82

    neil82 Cuttle Fish M.A.S.C Club Member

    Welcome! Thanks for sharing your background too. Very cool.
     
    Chamby112 likes this.
  8. zombie

    zombie Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    Welcome.

    I would run a skimmer and if it restricts flow too much, upgrade the return pump to an mj1200 to draw more flow.

    Hair algae will go away when your nitrates and phosphates drop, so I would just keep on top of WC and manual removal and it will eventually go away.



    Sent from my SM-G965U using MASC mobile app
     
    Chamby112 likes this.
  9. Chamby112

    Chamby112 Copepod M.A.S.C Club Member

    Thanks for the advice @zombie. I have to figure out how to get the skimmer to fit properly and at the right level, as it can't hang with the intank basket. Figuring magnets should work. Thanks!

    Sent from my VS501 using MASC mobile app
     
  10. JuanGutz

    JuanGutz Marlin M.A.S.C Club Member

    Welcome to the community! Great starter tank and looks great.
     
    Cherub likes this.
  11. SynDen

    SynDen Shark Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C President M.A.S.C Webmaster

  12. NickP

    NickP Copepod M.A.S.C Club Member

    Welcome
     
  13. Archit

    Archit Copepod Platinum Sponsor M.A.S.C Club Member

    Welcome! Don't worry about the GHA too too much -- all part of a new tank and relatively easily contained. Keep doing what you're doing (regular water changes), and add some CUC that'll handle GHA. My personal favorites are:

    - Emerald Crabs
    - Trochus snails
    - Astrea snails
    - Few Nassarius for good measure -- they won't eat GHA, but they'll help get rid rotting food on the sand bed.

    Also, make sure you have a good amount of flow! I know it's tough with smaller tanks, but good flow is the key to a healthy tank imo. And by good amount of flow, I don't mean just the return pump :) I didn't see you mention any powerheads; you'll probably want to get at least 1 if not 2 small ones to makes sure you're getting good flow towards the bottom of the tank and behind your rocks (where everything settles).

    You didn't mention how much, and what type of food you feed your fish -- this can be a huge factor in how much nutrients you are introducing in your system as well.

    Regarding filtration -- I think you're doing everything by the book when it comes to small tanks; I'm a huge proponent of skimmers personally (for both, filtration as well as adding oxygen to water), but it is tough to find good small skimmers. One thing I would like to recommend, is maybe add a few of those MarinePure cubes (they're 2"x2") -- they'll add a LOT of surface area for the bacteria. Also make sure you clean/change the first stage of you filtration (filter floss) often.

    Apologies if I covered stuff you already know / are doing, and good luck!! :) I just recently picked up a frag of the Macaw paly's and they're definitely one of my favorites!
     
    SynDen likes this.

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