Fish Room in Progress...

Madison Area Reef Society - Club and reef discussion

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Postby Landon on Wed Nov 22, 2006 7:28 pm

Heya all,

The 100 lbs of live rock has been curing since friday night.

Curing in action!
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I have to say this job turned out to be a little more work all around than I thought it would be. Man does the water get rank. After exploring the rock a bit as I was getting it in the can I did not find much life. A LOT of dead stuff. Lots of worms, snails and all kinds of different macro and sponges. Heres the curing program so far:

Day 1: Got rock and rinsed it in a bucket of salt water to knock off loose debris and pull off large dead stuff. I then put it in the can in which the skimmer, 4 powerheads and a heater were working. I tried to stack the rock as loose as possible to avoid dead water movement spots. I purchased to 1 gallon paint strainer bags (the fine mesh ones) to put all the sand and small pieces of rock and debris in to seed the sand bed with. This worked out really well. Those things can hold a lot of very fine material and they are affordable at about a $1 each.

Day 2: Cleaned the skimmer cup about 4 times. Also made sure all powerheads were functioning.

Day 3: Skimmer cup. Tested ammonia. Found ammonia. Started preparing a 100% water change in can 2.

Day 4: Did 100% water change. Rinsed rock pieces again, inspected them for any large dead debris. Rinsed debris/sand bags.

Day 5: Skimmer cup. Top off water added.

Day 6: (Today 11/23/06) Skimmer cup. Top off. Test for ammonia and nitrite. Low levels of each showed up.

So when do I do another water change? Should I let the nitrite and ammonia levels rise a bit or do I need to change the water asap? There are so many schools of thought on how this process should be handled. I would love a little input.

Thanks Guys! :D
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IMHO

Postby Toddah on Sun Nov 26, 2006 9:54 am

I would just let it run unless the levels decide to spike.
THe whole process is about letting the different biological entities that died in shipping run their natural cycle of decay and the eventual release of their biomass into the water. High levels don't hurt anything as long as there is no livestock in the system. I sounds like you have already have a better setup than most people use to cure liverock.
As long as the measured levels are on the decline then I think you are doing great.
My major concern would be the Ammonia spike followed by the nitrate and nitrite spikes that naturally occour don't happen in your show tank.
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Postby Landon on Sun Nov 26, 2006 11:57 am

Thanks for the reply Todd. Everything seemed to be looking on the up and up!
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Postby OceanicNG on Sun Nov 26, 2006 11:57 am

hehe

Biological Entities.
Thats an awesome statment.
Very true, and amusing.

I wouldnt sweat it. The vast majority of my LR that I have came mail order, and shipped in NO water. I was kinda peeved at first, but there was a lot of life that sprouted up off those rocks in the weeks to come. Im guessing that most of whats able to, goes and hides in the center of the rocks.

-Its gonna be a thing of beauty when its done, Im jealous,

-Andy
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Postby Aquatic_Matt on Sun Nov 26, 2006 11:45 pm

I wouldnt be to upset about your liverock Oceanic. All LR is shipped dry. The costs of shipping it in water would be far to great.
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Postby OceanicNG on Mon Nov 27, 2006 1:03 am

Aquatic_Matt wrote:I wouldnt be to upset about your liverock Oceanic. All LR is shipped dry. The costs of shipping it in water would be far to great.


Right,

but watching the boards and finding somone whos getting out of the hobby selling for 2-3 bucks a pound with all sort of life and growth...


Pricless.


-Andy
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Postby Landon on Mon Nov 27, 2006 8:49 pm

I decided to get things going and move the sand and rock into the tank. I had saltwater aging in the tank adjusted to 78 degrees and 1.025 SG. I went through the arduous task of rinsing all the sand and adding it to the tank and refugium. A friend gave me a bag of southdown sand for the fuge. (Thanks man! :D)

Close inspection of the rock led me to believe it was ready for the tank. The skimmer was not pulling out nearly as much nastiness, the foul smell was gone, all in all it seemed healthy. Level of nitrite was declining.
I gave the stuff one more rinse and in the tank it went!

The sand bend ended up being about 7 inches deep. I seeded the southdown in the fuge with the slurry I had saved from the bottom of the liverock boxes. Now the big wait.

I plan on letting the tank sit for months before adding any livestock. I want the sandbed and liverock to bloom with life.

Updates to come: Plumbing for RO, Auto Top Off Setup (It might be awhile till next update)

In the meantime if anyone would ever like to peek at any of the work that has been done on this project just shoot me a pm.

Heres a pic of the rockwork...
Image

Thanks for looking and for the comments all! Happy Holidays
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WoW !!!!!

Postby Toddah on Tue Nov 28, 2006 8:46 am

That is one great looking setup. I could spend hours looking at that tank!
Oh, wait I already did that didn't I :D

Rock looks great, keep up the good work !!!
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Postby therazorsedge on Tue Nov 28, 2006 8:09 pm

Looks great man!!! I might have to have Susie come help me organize my rock the next time :)
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Postby stevenliu on Wed Nov 29, 2006 9:36 pm

I was showing your progress from a dungeon to- voila!!! to my wife and her jaw dropped!! haha good work man! I wish I have a spare room like yours where I can put my "fish toys" as my wife calls it in.
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Postby Landon on Sat Dec 23, 2006 5:16 pm

Thank you for the kind feedback all! :D

Its been about a month since the last update. I have been swamped at work with end of the year stuff so tank time has been a bit limited.

I was able to run a water line into the room and set up my RO/DI and topoff. I will be getting the switches for the sump this week.

Things are pretty green in the display tank at the moment. I added snails and crabs about two weeks ago and the algae is disappearing. I need to do a nice water change and scrape off all the yuck and things should be much better. I got my fuge light and some macro in there today. Im just gonna shut it all down and do a thorough clean up.

The algae bloom in the 18 gallon is slowly clearing up as well.

I'm having a lot of fun with the 10 gallon. I've thrown a few frags in there and they have all attached and are doing well. The Macro really intrigues me. I hope to get a few different varieties yet. I added a little neon goby and a few snails and crabs to the tank.

Heres a few pics...
RO/DI and topoff. (Snagged a sweet mini fridge for phyto and brewski! :D)
Image

Sump with macro and new light...
Image

Display ready for a lawn mowing...
Image

Little macro tank...
Image

Another shot w/Goby...
Image

18 Gallon getting a little better on the algae...
Image

Thanks for looking all... Have a wonderful holiday season!

Peace.
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Postby kjbudsberg on Sat Dec 23, 2006 8:31 pm

Geez, your big tank is really looking nice! I wish my display was as nice as your small tank.

Merry Christmas to you and all your biological entities 8)
-Kevin
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Postby Landon on Sat Jan 06, 2007 8:52 pm

Hiya all!

Thank you as always for the pleasant comments. It is very appreciated.

I hope the new year is treating you all well. Its been about six months since I started work on my little project, so I thought it would be a nice time to share a few things with all of your brilliant minds.

Things have moved forward pretty smoothly. Other than a little mishap with some water on the floor from messing up the installation of an auto top-off. I forgot to turn off my RO/DI and had quite a few gallons of freshwater flow into the sump. Whoops! :oops: I have taken steps to keep this from happening again.

I added more snails and crabs. Also a large brittle star, a yellow tang, a purple basslet and a porcelain crab. I am awaiting a pair of pygmy angels from Meisen. Once they go in I will not be adding any additional fish for a few months. I am going to work on getting my water as stable as possible in preparation for corals.

I also added 2 gigantic Turbos to work on the hair algae, along with the Tang and they have done a bang up job. The majority of the hair algae has either been eaten or is in its death throws. With a few more water changes and another month it will be a memory. (I hope anyway! :D )

I decided to tear down the 10G I had set up as an observation tank and move the majority of its contents to the main tanks refugium. Should be a nice addition. The rock was crawling in Stomatellas, pods and worms.

Pictures!

Sump with new Macro and Rock from observation tank. This sump design has been a joy. Thank you Toddah! Zero microbubbles returned to display.
Image

Things looking a little less green. Need a couple of those Algae Free magnet holders for the Seio's.
Image

Thanks for looking everyone! :D
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Postby tim on Sat Jan 06, 2007 9:44 pm

Looks better and better every new set of pics!!
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Very Impressive!!!

Postby Toddah on Sun Jan 07, 2007 7:44 am

You are doing a bang up job !
Keep up the good work.
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