Cymen's 20G tall

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

  1. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    Display tank:
    Ammonia: ~0
    Nitrite: 0.2
    Nitrate: ~20
    SG: 1.026

    Ammonia: ~0

    Fish happy and eating. No flashing/darting or rapid breathing.
  2. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    Also I am getting big brown patches on the sand and smaller ones on the glass. It's on the rocks too. Looks like the expected diatom bloom. I picked up an inexpensive power head for mixing salt but put it on double duty in the display tank aimed at the areas of the sand where the bloom is happening (in slower water).
  3. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    The Clownfish stopped eating 4 days ago. Still swims around and seems okay but won't take the spectrum pellets (which he was eating before). I tried brine shrimp yesterday but he wouldn't even take those. My wife also picked up some of the Hikari Mysis frozen shrimp cubes. I'm going to try that next but with him in a pool to avoid polluting the QT tank.

    The QT has been stable at SG 1.010-1.011, temperature also stable (besides brief attempt to switch to another lower watt heater but temperature setting didn't seem stable on it). The tank is dosed with Chloroquine Phosphate and PraziPro (and CP redosed with water changes, PraziPro too but did water changes after it should have diminished). I'm up for tips/recommendations.

    The display tank is going well. I can't find the biggest hermit crab but otherwise all are present. Even with food additions, the Nitrite has continue to gradually go lower. Current readings:

    Ammonia: ~0
    Nitrite: ~0.05-0.1
    Nitrate: ~20 (really hard to tell though)

    Going to go research if I should start changing water to bring the Nitrates down or if I should really wait until Nitrite hit solid 0.
  4. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    CP will suppress diet. I would do bigger water changes if there is a lot of uneaten food. Remember to dose the water change water with CP to replace what you take out.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Cymen likes this.
  5. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    Sounds good. I've been careful to do big water changes (about 3g) and remove uneaten food too. Would you continue to do the same and not worry too much about the eating?
  6. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    As long as it's swimming around and alert should be fine. Complete the CO course then monitor.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Cymen likes this.
  7. muhli

    muhli Guest

    What @Enderturtle said. No need in using a fish to cycle. Besides you run the risk of killing the fish anyways.
    I've have alot of success in my previous tanks just throwing in a dead shrimp (raw) from the local store, letting it decompose, remove, and just pouring the whole bottle of biospira in. Only takes a week or so to cycle.
    Cymen likes this.
  8. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    I'm totally on board now with fishless cycling. I knew better going in but partly misinterpreted what was being said about Bio-Spira and partly rushed it without thinking (honestly, in hindsight, in a moment of exuberance while sleep deprived). Anyway, I'm fully onboard with lifeless/fishless cycling and the fish is in a separate quarantine tank to both treat it and avoid exposing it to cycling tank.
  9. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    The diatom bloom in the main tank is going pretty heavy. I cleaned off the glass but I didn't export the material (need to get/make a vacuum). And I left the lights set to on yesterday so I came back to a very pretty brown tank. At least it looks pretty to me from about 6 feet away!




  10. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    In display tank yesterday evening:

    Nitrites: ~0.2

    I changed about 3g of water on the display tank and about 2.5g on the quarantine tank. Today, changing almost 5g on the display tank. I want to see if getting my Nitrates down makes a difference.

    In other news:
    • ATO working great -- no problems, need bigger container for topoff (maybe around 1/3 to 1/2 gallon per day and I'd like a 14 day supply so maybe 8-10g container with some safety).
    • Need to cut about 1" off two bubble trap baffles as my skimmer supposedly needs shallower water. This will reduce the pressure on the last baffle which is great.
    • Last bubble trap baffle (closest to return pump) is holding up well with the reinforcements. Could do with a little more though just to be super solid and not flex and pop out of the bottom groove.
    • Need to look for an inert replacement for bamboo skewers. Tap Plastics appears to have some inexpensive options. I use the skewers on the sides of the bubble trap inserted into the channels in the EPDM foam.
    • Deciding what shape rock to make next. I need more vertical as my 20g is a high tank (went this route due to depth inexpensive LEDs can hit and prefer 4x3 aspect ratio). So leaning towards vertical piece with solid footing and lots of shelves.
    • Need to cut acrylic lid for area of sump where the return line is -- lots of salt creep from the bubbles. Going to wait for last as maybe cutting the baffles down 1" will make this less of an issue.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2016
  11. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    After water change last night, today:

    Nitrite: ~0.05

    Am I right in guessing that doing water changes to lower nitrates is helping the nitrite consuming bacteria? Because the nitrate scale/colors are hard to match, I'm going to assume they are off the charts and keep doing water changes to lower them (and see if the color starts getting easier to match and/or is less neon -- sample is neon but chart is definitely not neon).
  12. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    After ~5g water change today:

    Nitrite: ~0.05
    Nitrate: ~20 -- little lighter, so maybe between 10-20
  13. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Officer at large

    If you don't want to cut the baffles you can raise the skimmer instead if there's room.
    Cymen likes this.
  14. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    You guessed it -- running out of room up top. I've got my DJ power strip up there and the cords coming in from the rear are pretty close to the skimmer so I want to keep height the same.
  15. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    I stopped by Albany Aquarium today to ask about snails. They have black foot Trochus snails. I spoke with Hector and he filled me in on them a bit (demonstrated how they can self right) and explained he personally didn't mix them with hermits. They'll take the hermits back with credit towards the snails so probably going to do that next weekend (after doing some more research).
  16. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    Nitrite: 0.05 or slightly less

    Clown is still not eating but going to try feeding again shortly. He is swimming around and otherwise looks okay but definitely makes me nervous.

    My order of Bridgelux LEDs came in from China. I picked up:
    • 5 x 420nm
    • 10 x 10k
    • 10 x 20k
    I swapped out the central two red and two green LEDs for 2 x 420nm and 2 x 20k. Then I went further out from the center and swapped two ~6.5k LEDs for 2 x 420nm and another ~6.5k LEDS opposing for 2 x 10k. I don't know how much truth there is in it but some say the red causes more algae problems. The red and green stood out quite a bit and didn't blend well. I can always swap any of them back in but I'm liking the new light. I wish Bridgelux made a 3w lime LED. I need to measure to be certain but it looks like I could mount some Luxeon ES limes in place of a few Bridgelux...

    The last light upgrade is one or two layers of "sand effect" plastic wallpaper material to act as a diffuser which is reputed to reduce the harsh edges of the LED shimmer -- kind of even it out so it's less frantic. Amazon carries it here: DC Fix Sand. I read about this on the Nano-Reef forum I think. I can afford some small reductions in light efficiency and smoothing it out a bit (and hopefully reducing off angle glare) would be great.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2016
  17. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    Stock 165w LED (believe this matches mine):


    First round on modifying it (what I thought was ~6.5k is actualy 3.5k):


    I have to read some more to see if the 660nm and/or 520nm would be more desirable to keep. With the sand effect diffuser, it might be more acceptable...

    A seller that offers pre-soldered retrofit boards for the 165w lights has this layout:

    Last edited: Feb 2, 2016
  18. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Not bad advice.
    But an alternative is to buy a bunch of empty shells for the hermits.
    The theory is that hermits normally do not directly attack snails if decently fed, unless they badly need
    a larger shell to live in.
    Cymen likes this.
  19. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    On display (cycling) tank:

    Nitrite: 0.05 or less

    The diatom bloom is still going but I'm leaving the lights off. The scarlet legged hermit crab died. He was in hiding for a couple of days and then I moved him when I added some nori and he seemed okay. But yesterday, I could see his corpse on the sand and overnight it disappeared. The remaining four blue legged hermit crabs seem to be fine. I hope to take them back shortly so there is no more livestock in my display tank.

    I ordered 10 x 4.5k LED after doing some more research. I'll probably go with those over the 10k/20k LED. I'll have enough spares to try playing with some DIY lights. No need for them yet but want to explore/learn more while I have time and don't actually need anything yet.
  20. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    I actually asked about extra shells but the saltwater/reef guy was out so wasn't sure if they kept extras on hand. I have one spare now with the sad death of the scarlet legged hermit but I think it's way too big for the blue legged crabs.

    Are you pro/con on hermits? Think I should just stick with them? They don't seem excited by diatom blooms but maybe later on it'll be different with other algae types.

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