Another first tank post. :)

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by mike.costa.mc, Mar 6, 2018.

  1. Hey everyone,

    Quick introduction; I'm Mike. Been obsessed with tanks and fish forever but haven't been able to have a sw tank until now. Been watching YouTube videos, reading articles and bugging the hell out of the LFS owners and employees for info the past few weeks, sorry guys. Plans for fish is sorta planned but might change. I spent a lot of my childhood growing up in Hawaii so I'd like as many Hawaiian native fish as possible.

    Fish plan/list/options: Yellow Tang, Spotted Mandarin Goby, 2 x regular old clownfishies, and a Threadfin Butterflyfish or Angelfish.

    I have like zero patience so this hobby is going to be challenging. On to the tank (and lessons I've learned)!

    On the first day, I picked up a 40b (after returning the 38gal tall I returned cause it didn't fit the stand)
    40lbs of live sand
    Little under 20lbs of live rock
    Used protein skimmer
    Used Sump
    Used pump
    Aquatop 300w heater
    Then some Seachem Stability and 15 bio balls from an established tank the next day.

    Did some minor phantom feeding and then added 2 something something banded snails and 2 emerald crabs 5 days later.

    Lessons learned:
    I picked the wrong tank the first time and 40b is much better.

    Patience is rewarded.

    Lights are very expensive. (Currently using the one that came with the tank)

    Should've bought way more live rock and also should have really thought about placement before I threw them on there!
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

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  2. ashburn2k

    ashburn2k Webmaster

    that sump setup is designed for FW, i'd remove those plastic bioballs to something else like rock rumble or cheato grow out chamber instead. and Welcome!
     
    mike.costa.mc likes this.
  3. Fish Boss

    Fish Boss Supporting Member

    Welcome! Nice tank, I have the same one! Some questions:

    What is your goal for this tank, fish only with liverock? Or reef with fish and coral?

    If you want a threadfin butterfly, there is a strong chance it will eat coral.

    Do you have a test kit? The API master kit is cheap, not very accurate, but gives you a generally decent idea of nutrient levels.

    I would recommend trying to build some patience with this hobby. It sounds like you might not have cycled the tank yet, before throwing in some critters. They could possibly die if nutrients build up. If you don't have a strong bacterial colony when you add your lights, you will get tons of algae. Trust me, you don't want to look at algae every day. Also, it's going to tank a long time for your tank to build up pods for the mandarin. I would definitely reccomend a refugium and seeding pods. I would also reccomend more live rock for filtration/pods. I have ~40 lbs of rock in my tank, and it looks like I have 2.5x your amount of rock. GoodLuck!
     
    mike.costa.mc likes this.
  4. Thanks for the tip! It's just a bunch of plastic grass making a nest. Reminds me of an Easter basket. I was thinking crushed coral for now, is that the same as rock rumble?!

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  5. Kremis

    Kremis Supporting Member

    threadfin butterflyfish and yellow tangs will outgrow the 40 gallon breeder. mandarins wont have enough pods, so unless they are eating frozen i would avoid
     
    mike.costa.mc likes this.
  6. Goal for the tank is some coral but fish focused for now. I like coral but I haven't gotten the bug yet. I like the butterflies A LOT so I'd be open and ready to deal with how it reacts to some coral.

    I have the API master kit and have been watching the levels like a hawk. 1 or 2 tests per day, cause idk. ADHD probably. Didn't decide to add critters till after discussing the results in length with someone at the LFS. What test kits would you recommend?

    40 lbs of live rock is the goal as well as a new sump/refugium. Totally agree that the Mandarin won't be for a while. BUT, I am considering the possibility of buying one local if they're healthy and eating prepared foods. And I get to observe them at the LFS for a couple weeks or so. Would that still be a bad idea?

    What kind of plan would you guys recommend for adding live rock? As far as how much and at what rate I should add it.

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  7. It's a good thing the wife approved the 120 for next year. :)

    Are the ruby red scooters better eaters? If not the amazing looking Mandarin what would you recommend?

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  8. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Wants some advice? Tough you're getting it anyways ;)

    When you get the larger tank, then get the larger fish not before. It's really easy to have a plan for a larger tank but something happens, etc etc. Bottom line is if you're getting a larger tank next year, then great use that year to learn how to take care of a 40G tank without making your life difficult, and when you finally do get your larger tank you'll have some experience under your belt at keeping salt water and all the little things that make them successful.

    That said, scratch off the tangs, butterfly and angelfish off your list simply due to size limitations, not due to the size you see them at the store as stores purposefully get smaller fish because people foolishly put them in a small tank because "hey it's not much bigger than a clownfish!". Put in a few small fish that you'll also want in the larger tank, and let things happen from there. Work on not overfeeding, keeping the water clear (more fish more problems), seeing if you want to do corals, if your equipment can keep up with the demand, how much sticker shock will you get if you want to get a different skimmer but new, etc.

    This hobby should be about enjoying something, the minute you make it a major chore to do is going to be when you don't enjoy it anymore or your neglect it both of which are bad outcomes.
     
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  9. Kremis

    Kremis Supporting Member

    agree with everything said here. and scooter dragonets have the same feeding requirements
     

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