Cymen's 20G tall

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

  1. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    Before water change:

    Ammonia: ~0
    Nitrite: ~0.3
    Nitrate: ~20
    SG: 1.0245 (early measurements slightly going up too -- not replacing evaporated water in order to climb to 1.026 slowly)

    I used a dropper to shot 7 small pieces of Spectrum to the clown to avoid any missed food on the sandbed.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2016
  2. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    After ~4.25g water change:

    Ammonia: ~0
    Nitrite: ~0.2-0.3 (bit lighter than earlier)
    Nitrate: ~20 (maybe slightly lighter, if so, only little lower)
    SG: 1.0245
  3. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    This morning, I noticed some interesting change to the area in my sump around the bubble trap:

  4. pixelpixi

    pixelpixi Guest

    Are you asking about the pink stuff? Maybe cyanobacteria?

    I'm curious what the white plastic things are? Are they holding the baffles?
  5. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    I was guessing it was cyanobacteria but wasn't certain. The flow is pretty slow there. I didn't get a chance to wipe it off but it looks like a film.

    The white plastic is EPDM gasket foam. It is holding the acrylic baffles. This is version 2 of the baffles and I'll need to have a version 3 shortly. The issue is the baffle closest to my return pump has to deal with the biggest differential in water height so it has the most pressure applied. It holds okay on the sides (now that there are bamboo skewers in the foam) however it pops out in the bottom gasket in the middle. This is no good as I want to use that side for placing my auto top off sensors. At least it would fail towards not topping off any water (instead of pumping in too much water) but it needs to work of course. I am mulling over sandwiching on another piece of plexiglass to see if that stiffens it enough to prevent it popping out of the bottom foam channel. It isn't a particularly satisfying idea though as I'd prefer it to not fail at all. I have a large sheet of scrap plexiglass at my disposal.

    As I tinker with this sump, I grow to understand why acrylic sumps seem to be popular.
  6. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    These are the quick stats I checked when home briefly this evening:

    Ammonia: ~0
    SG: 1.025

    I'm going to do the full set of tests later this evening.
  7. pixelpixi

    pixelpixi Guest

    I'm not sure if it's cyano. It was my first thought too but this is a brighter pink than I usually expect (usually it's more of a deep red) and cyano requires light. Do you have light over the sump or is it usually dark there?

    Once you're sure of where you want the baffles I would get some glass panels made and silicone them in. Be sure to get polished edges so they aren't too sharp. (or yeah, an acrylic sump would work too)
  8. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    It's usually dark in there however my power head has been dislodging the sand in some spots and light is coming through. It's still very dim. I'll look closer to see if light is hitting this area.

    I think glass baffles is a good idea. I was hoping to be more flexible but now that I know roughly how to space them, I'd rather have it super solid with glass and silicone. Thanks for the tip on polishing the edges.
    pixelpixi likes this.
  9. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    Full tests:

    Ammonia: ~0
    Nitrite: ~0.3
    Nitrate: ~20
    SG: 1.025

    I realized that cyano looking film is growing only in the areas I used (aquarium) silicone to attach the EPDM foam to the glass sump sides/bottom. The film is really thin so maybe that is why it's so pink. Also the power head did move more sand than I realized in one corner. It's aimed upwards more now so tomorrow I'll spread the sand back out again. In hindsight, I wish I'd put a block of pink insulation foam on the bottom of the tank to both block the light and save a sliver on heating costs (another one for next time).

    I verified my refractometer was still calibrated to the pinpoint solution. It was spot on with no need to adjust. I also ran ammonia and nitrite tests on some saltwater mixed up yesterday to compare to the tank readings. Ammonia looked the same (tank versus unused mixed water) so it's 0 or my source water has ammonia. I think it's reasonable to go forward with it being 0. For nitrite, the solution stayed clear so not much interesting there.

    Based on the readings, I'm not going to change any water tonight. However, I am going to skim with the protein skimmer for just a bit to see if it takes the Nitrate levels down (I've left it running otherwise with the collection plug out).
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2016
  10. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    I set the thermostat to 80 (from 78) last night. This evening, I topped off the water with 1g (spread out a bit) of fresh mix at 1.025.

    Ammonia: ~0
    Nitrite: ~0.15 (between 0.1 and 0.2)
    Nitrate: ~20
    SG: 1.0255 (up a bit faster than anticipated with the top up)

    I am seeing some small pea-sized or slightly smaller patches of brown on the sand and the rocks. I have some strips of acrylic left over from cutting the baffles and I'm going to try gluing them to the one problematic baffle. I suspect I'll go the glass route but want to see how it goes.
  11. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    Few photos -- my tripod head is stored away where I can't get to it for a couple of months. And I didn't put a 18% gray card in the tank to get the correct white balance :).

    Brown spot center of photo:


    Brown spot on sand (center upper left) with smaller spots (center lower right) and on glass (further center lower right, out of focus):


    In the shadows on some of the rock, there are red-hued patches (center and similar spots where red):


    The cement I used is MasterEmaco 488 CI which has fibers mixed into it. It wasn't that noticeable when they were dry but in the tank, they have definitely had a lot of "plaque" attach to them and they move with the current.
  12. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    Ammonia: ~0
    Nitrite: ~0.2
    Nitrate: ~20 (although I got a second opinion from my visiting mother and she thought it was roughly 15)
    SG: 1.0255

    The problematic bubble trap baffle had three slim pieces of acrylic scrap glued to it (2 on one side, 1 on the other). I think this fixed the flexing enough that it will work. I don't know if I'll stick with it but going to see how it goes for a couple of weeks.

    I also started on the AquaHub DIY ATO. The plastic holder for the sensors is interesting to shape. It isn't as stiff as I'd like but hopefully it'll work as long as I support the wires (now encased in 1.5 feet of 1/2" clear tubing with silicone on the top and bottom end to protect the top of the sensors per directions). I'm not sure how big a container I need. Ideally, I'd have a 4" x 24" x ?" gallon container to put behind the stand but I'll use a 1g jug for now. But I need something that will work for at least 2 weeks and I suspect it won't so we'll see.
  13. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    If you've read the thread this far, this might be a repeat of information but I'll summarize: I'm new to saltwater and Clownfish. I was having a hard time telling if my Clownfish was being playful (sleeping on the sand) or if he was in distress. I panicked at first due to my freshwater experience and thought he was dying. In reality, I suspect it was between being an interesting fish and dealing with the stress of a cycling tank.

    On Monday evening, I grew even more concerned as he didn't eat and was lying on the bottom of the tank more and more. Reading some threads here, I grew concerned the flashing indicated he had flukes or some sort of parasites. The surface of his skin looked like small white dots too (although I'd disturbed the somewhat silty sand bed so it was hard to tell for sure it was not related to that). But I started to suspect it might be brook.

    I figured the best course of action was to do what I could with what I had on hand which was no medicine. I did a PH-adjusted (baking soda) freshwater (RO/DI) bath. I aimed for 20 minutes but it was actually more like 25 minutes while I hustled to get a fresh batch of hyposalinity water in a 5g pail up to temperature.

    The fish was in the hyposalinity bucket overnight. Today, I was able to pick up a 5g QT tank and some Chloroquine Phosphate from Ed. I came home and set that up tonight with half fresh-mixed hyposalinity water adjusted to temp and verified PH. Then I used half the water from the bucket from last night. I dosed the tank with CP and transferred over the Clownfish and the piece of PVC for him to hide in.

    He is breathing much more naturally now and is swimming around the tank and eating with energy. I've got a slow drip of RODI water with some baking soda to try to stay in the hyposalinity range and not go up in SG during the day.

    So long story short, the Clownfish is now in a 5g quarantine tank treated with Chloroquine Phosphate. He is looking happy. I plan on keeping him in there for 6 weeks while the display tank cycles (and no host is present in tank for parasites like brook to rid the tank of them). I've got a Seachem Ammonia Alert gadget on the 5g tank but I'll check it every day and of course expect to do water changes.

    My question is what would you recommend to continue the cycle in the main tank? I have a bottle of Dr Tim's Ammonium Chloride however my 5 small hermit crabs are in the tank. I'd just feed them fish food but they seem really bad at finding the Spectrum pellets. Should I use the Ammonium Chloride? Or feed the crabs something else? Or a little of both? I'd put the crabs in with the Clownfish but I also want to be able to treat him with PraziPro and if things go further bad, potentially other medications that the crabs aren't compatible with. So it seems easiest to keep them in the main tank and feed them something that keeps the cycle going.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2016
  14. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    Just keep feeding the tank a few pellets everyday or every other day. Monitor ammonia levels carefully to make sure you don't see any.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Cymen and Enderturtle like this.
  15. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Colorado member

    +1 ^

    That was my thought too.
    Cymen and Enderturtle like this.
  16. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    I'll do that. It's nice and simple. Thanks to both of you.
  17. Enderturtle

    Enderturtle Volunteer

    All you really need to cycle some rock is some starter bacteria, fish food, and patience.

    Fish should not be forced to tolerate harmful ammonia/nitrite in an aquarium. It's just unecessary.

    Looking good so far though cymen! Been reading your journal.
    Cymen likes this.
  18. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    I finished the ATO on Sunday for the display tank. I had to wait for the silicone sealant to dry in the 1/2" rubber tubes covering the top of the sensors (recommended to seal with tubes if they would get wet which they will if I turn off the main pump). The ATO is on and working well so far. I put the project box enclosure on the back of the stand with velcro adhesive strips.

    Last night, I dosed the QT tank with PraziPro after reading a number of reports that it is compatible with CP. A while later, the fish swam into the down take as I temporarily have a power head in there for circulation while waiting for a small pump to arrive. He spent a night and day in there but today I put a small hang on the back filter on the main part of the tank and turned off the power head. Curiosity won after an hour and he swam back into the main tank. I blocked the hole with a sponge for now.

    I put a bit of food into the main tank per above. I had to juggle a single heater so the display tank cooled down while it was in use with the fish. A second heater arrived yesterday and the main tank is back up to temp and the hermits are still alive (although I imagine a little grumpy). I imagine it'll affect the bacteria too but I'll do some tests of both tanks later this evening.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2016
  19. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    Cycling display tank:

    Ammonia: ~0
    SG: 1.026

    Quarantine tank:

    Ammonia: ~0
    SG: 1.010 (steady, need to read more about hyposalinity to see if I should be at 1.008 or if this is acceptable, am keeping PH up with drip of RODI water with baking soda)
  20. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    The Clownfish is still eating well and appears to be happy.

    Last night, tests:

    Display tank:
    Ammonia: ~0
    Nitrite: ~0.2
    Nitrate: ~20
    SG: 1.0265

    QT tank:
    Ammonia: ~0 but shade of color little darker than display, might be due to medication

    I did a 2.5g water change on the 5g QT tank dosing the appropriate amount of CP and PraziPro in the new water. I also received a small 80g/hour pump from Amazon and hooked that up to the QT tank bulkhead for the filter area. That is working great. I'll post a photo sometime but the tank from Ed has an acrylic piece on one end with built-in overflow, sponge area, baffle and return column with drilled bulkhead back to the tank.

    The problematic bubble trap baffle in the main tank is better with the reinforcement strips but still a bit too flexible. I'm going to cut two pieces of acrylic this weekend from scrap and make it both slightly longer and less flexible by sandwiching the two together. While it would be nice to go to glass, I want to see if I can get this working as it is great except that last baffle.

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