Cymen's 20G tall

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by Cymen, Jan 31, 2015.

  1. Enderturtle

    Enderturtle Volunteer

    Looking like a professional set up! A float valve would also be helpful for the trashcan with the rodi water.

    I like how the bottom rim of the tank is out of view. Beautiful tank stand as well.

    Also if you're still cycling your tank, I believe in keeping the protein skimmer off to avoid skimming out bacteria/nitrogenous waste which is what you want during a cycle. Maybe other reefers can chime in on this but that's my advice.
  2. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    Thanks! I didn't mention it but BRS included a float valve in the kit (really amazing extras to be honest -- everything I needed except the Y adapter for the washer hookup). I mounted it on the trash can. I need the waste water setup though so I can set it and forget it. It looks like my incoming PSI is around 44 or so which seems okay.

    Thanks for the advice on the skimmer and cycling. That makes sense to me. I'm on to DIY rock next. I probably should have started on that 6 weeks ago and had it curing all the while. So it'll be a while before cycling.
  3. tygunn

    tygunn Webmaster

    How do you find the dual membrane setup works? Is the goal faster production, less waste, better TDs or some combination? You are brave to capture the waste water; I gave up on that after overflowing the washer a few times ☺
  4. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    It seems okay -- I only ran it for an hour to do the initial clean out. My goal is less waste (and not needing to upgrade later). I don't know if my pressure is high enough to get me to 1:1. I'll test it with two 5 gallon buckets.

    I am making sure if anything overflows, it'll be outside in the backyard! At least that is the plan. I shut it off after the hour so I can figure out how to get the waste down to the garden. I think a garden hose will work and a second Brute garbage can like the one in the photo (maybe bigger).
  5. tygunn

    tygunn Webmaster

    If you find the production or waste isn't too your liking an RO booster pump works amazing. I have really low pressure (45 psi) in my appt. The booster gets me up to 90 psi before the membrane. Awesome production and fast stabilization of TDS.

    Once I get a house I'll definitely capture the waste water and reuse it to drip irrigate plants. With an appt I just dont have room.
    Cymen likes this.
  6. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    Well hard to believe that much time has past but life got in the way for a bit. I switched employers and then my son was born (now almost 4 months old).

    I put the water in the tank this evening. I accidentally cracked a bulkhead while moving the tank around before putting in the sand, rock, water and salt. Thankfully, I caught it was dripping and lowered the water level. I found what look like the same or similar 3/4" bulk heads on Amazon as I received in my kit so I ordered those with next day delivery (prime finally comes through). I like the Glass-Holes kit but I wish I'd just used their overflow and then built the rest in solid PVC. It would have taken longer but I think it would have been more robust and less expensive (factoring in enjoying DIY). The issue is the hosing is very rigid and exerts a fair amount of pressure. I suspect I pushed the tank and stand too far back while positioning it and that put pressure on the return hose (where it enters the rear of the stand to the sump pump). That in turn traveled up to the bulk head. Also the hose clamp on the cracked side is one tooth more clicked on than the other side. So it could be combination of things. I'll have to be more careful but next time it is PVC all the way (and probably a BeanAnimal-style overflow).

    The tank is currently super cloudy. CaribSea included some little packet in the live sand (got the Fuji pink) that is supposed to clear it up. But I don't want to put that in until I have circulation back with the new bulkhead. So maybe tomorrow it'll be clear enough for a photo or two.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2016
  7. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    The tank cleared up a bit while the main pump was off. Still cloudy (as expected). The replacement bulkheads are perfect. I replaced the cracked one and got the system back up. Then drilled some holes in the water inlets to break the siphon when the main pump is turned off. My bubble trap in the sump is working well. The way it is made though the plexiglass walls are not held in place water tight. It looks like if I have the right amount of water, the level should stay about the same though where the skimmer is when the main pump is turned off. I might need to put a higher wall towards the skimmer though to keep the level stable.

    When the main pump came back on, it got cloudy again. I don't have any shrimp on hand but I'll get some and toss a piece in tomorrow.

  8. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    I would go to Ace Hardware and buy some Ammonia. Dose it to 2-4ppm then let it sit for a few days. This way you don't have to wait for the shrimp to rot. Dr. Tim's One and Only or Instant Ocean Biospira will help speed up the cycle as well.
  9. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    That sounds much better than rotting shrimp. I'll do that. Thanks!
  10. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    I ordered the Biospira and some Dr Tim's ammonium chloride from Amazon. The tank cleared up with the protein skimmer. I need to clean the glass but not rushing that (never had a tank with sand and want to avoid scratching it recklessly). I used MasterEmaco 488CI to make my rock along with crushed oyster shell. There are some fiber strands on the surface of the rock but I think it'll be fine. If I recall correctly, I think someone ran a torch over the surfaces to burn off the fibers.

  11. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    It looks a little empty but with the low/no cure time on the MasterEmaco 488CI cement, it should be straight forward to make more rock once I learn what is good and/or what I want.
  12. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    I'm mulling over what livestock to get once the tank cycles. I'm not going to get everything at once of course but I figured I would start with:
    • few hermit crabs
    • some snails
    • maybe a peppermint shrimp (later)
    Then probably a Clownfish and/or a Goby of some sort. I want the clown to keep the baby entertained. He definitely likes light and movement and a Clownfish seems like a good match (easy going, lots of movement, etc).

    I'm not sure about which corals to start with. I have a fair amount of small rubble/rocks that could be used with GSP and maybe Xenia. So I'm reading threads about other beginner corals. I've got the Bayer Advanced already and plan on dipping from the beginning.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2016
  13. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    First big leak that was luckily caught within 15 minutes: skimmer overflowed and ran down a cord that was sloppily placed next to it. That drained into the bottom of the stand which seeped out the foam on the sides. As I'm on hardwood floors, this is no good. I was originally thinking of putting the whole stand in a plastic tray. I'm going to go back to that which means emptying out the water temporarily after I find a tray of suitable dimensions (at least 15x27" inside with decent lip and ideally 30+" so some room to use a towel to mop up collected spills). I am tempted to get some leveling feet but not sure if I can find those local.
  14. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Officer at large

    That stinks.
  15. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    Yeah! I was happy to catch it early though while it is much less of a hassle to rip it apart.
  16. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    Training wheel mode enabled! Seriously though, I'll sleep better with this in place. I had the bright idea to put the stand on two 2x4 pieces but only after I cut the opening for the door. So I could have had another 3/4" of protection but it'll do. There is enough space around the back to put one or two of those slim line water jugs (type for the fridge) to hold my auto top off water supply. The tray volume is roughly 4.5 gallons. I am sensing a controller with a rope sensor for water in my near future.

    After getting it back together, I put the Bio-Spira in... It says you can put it in then put in fish which seems a bit optimistic. I'll give it a couple days and test the water.

    Last edited: Jan 6, 2016
  17. tygunn

    tygunn Webmaster

    My tank was a better babysitter than television when my daughter was a baby. She could sit for an hour in her high chair watching my yellow tang zip around and the clown up to its antics. She also just loved the light patterns from the rippling water.

    Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
  18. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    I picked up a small common clown and 5 blue-legged hermit crabs from Albany Aquarium yesterday. They verified my refractometer was calibrated (at least at 0 with R/O water) too which was nice. The clowns were eating spectrum in the store so I got some of that too and the clown ate a couple hours after being drip acclimated. So far, everyone seems happy.

    So far, he is mostly interested in the LED lights but it's also hard to hold him at the right level. So I'm looking forward to trying a high chair!
  19. MolaMola

    MolaMola Supporting Member

    Looking good! Have you calibrated your refractometer with 35ppt saltwater, too? Good idea to do that and also check it periodically. Not sure where you live but if your wife works at the Concord Feed on Hookston I am 5 min away - Sequoia Middle School on Boyd Rd in Pl Hill. I could rinse a new squeeze bottle, let it dry, and give you some solution. Let me know.
  20. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    I haven't yet. I was wishing I'd ordered some calibration fluid with earlier big orders as the shipping is the price of the fluid usually. So I was waiting until I needed something else or for a meetup. I'm in Oakland near MacArthur BART although my wife used to work in Concord and actually bought the crushed oyster shell I used in my rock from Concord Feed! If I get out that way, I'll ping you. I'd like to check out Diablo Corals sometime. Thank you very much for the offer.

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