My 90 gallon tank: video update! (with narration this time!)

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by goldielocke76, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. goldielocke76

    goldielocke76 Supporting Member

    Thank you sir! I think I will be ordering myself some substrate.....^.^
  2. goldielocke76

    goldielocke76 Supporting Member

    So, I have been reading through some of your tank journals and came up with a few more questions.

    How often are you do do water changes, and what percentage of the water volume do you change out?

    What's the rule of thumb when stocking, and how do you know what fish are compatible? So far I have a blenny, 7 gobies and a puffer. This is all in my 60 gallon. How close is this tank being to "stocked" or "overstocked?"

    With the GSP, does anyone have a recommendation on any potential fish that I can add after the upgrade, or if I even should. I want it more on the low side of stocked, but I would still like to see a mandarin in my future. (again with the gobies, LOL)

    My total water volume with out any live rock should be about 120 gallons, including the sump. Any one have a rough guess as to how much water the LR and substrate would displace?

    For those of you who upgraded, where did you keep your fish while your tank was cycling? I know there isn't alot of stock in products that "instantly cycle" your tank, but have you guys found anything that you all would swear by? I know for the puffers, we did a 6 week test with a new tank another member was setting up, and we found that Tetra Safestart really works. Is there anything like that for SW tanks? Any thoughts or cautions on this?

    And any other thoughts or tips in general. I love hearing the advice and about any and all experiences. The more I know, the better off I will be in the long run. =)
  3. Kensington Reefer

    Kensington Reefer Supporting Member

    I change 25-30% every 10-14 days with natural sea water
    I add brightwell ph 8.3 for pH and alkalinity
    I use sealab #28 for element replenishment
    I top off evaporated water with koldsteril filtered water
    I test nothing

    Lots of food in, lots of poop out
    Old fish and corals
  4. bondolo

    bondolo Supporting Member

    I've been doing 15-20% at a time water changes every 10-14 days since reading Necessary Maintenance - Water Changes (I seem to also remember a longer Ron Shimek Reefkeeping article but couldn't find it). I wish I could move to 20-30% changes but it's not practical for me. The main point of the article was that small water changes have very little positive impact on water quality and depending upon your situation may be entirely insufficient. ie. your water quality is actually losing ground over time.

    Starting a new tank: When I started my frag tank I used refuse water from my main tank until the sump was full and then added about double that with new water. It was like starting with an already cycled tank.
  5. goldielocke76

    goldielocke76 Supporting Member


    I still have lots to learn.

    Not sure that I will be doing corals. As much as I would like too, the set up needed for them is not financially feasible. Although I have no "budget" right now, I can't break the bank. I want to have a healthy FOWLR tank going though. When I graduate and making $30k+ a year (hopefully more than that), then we will talk about corals. Right now, $13.50/hr makes getting everything you want hard, haha. And my time is divided, I am not sure I could give the corals the time and energy they would need. I go to school full time and work full time. That's why, as much as I want Tunzes, I may just have to get two koralias. Gotta have compromise until I can afford more hehe.
  6. bondolo

    bondolo Supporting Member

    The other water change article was this one by Randy Holmes-Farley Water Changes in Reef Aquaria. (Sorry, I couldn't rest not being able to find it!)

    If you are patient you can save a lot by going with used equipment. Very little of my tank setup was purchased new. For the rest I've scoured craigslist and Reef Central : San Francisco Bar Area forums and also bought and been given (thank you!) equipment from BAR members. It's slower but cheaper to assemble a tank this way and being a relative n00b I've learned a lot along the way.

    It's entirely possible to build an enviable impressive coral collection without ever spending a dime simply from freebies and swapping. In this club it's probably pretty easy. You'll probably wind up buying some coral as well. If you aren't sure you're ready for coral get some kenya tree, discosoma mushrooms, xenia and a random montipora and see how they do in your tank. Virtually any club member probably has some of all of these they are willing to offer any newbie along with a wad of chaeto. They may not be showy corals by reef keeper standards but your non-reefing friends and family will still ooh and aah over them.
  7. goldielocke76

    goldielocke76 Supporting Member

    Thank you for the glimmer of hope! If everything had gone according to my financial plan, I wouldn't be stressing out too much, but alas, it didn't, and some extra purchases came up (new protein skimmer, additional pumps, etc). So it was kind of disheartening. I was asking myself if I really had the money to do all of this. But, I did make a post in the B/S/T section, so I think I will go edit it and put on the Tunzes on it as well. And what a great idea about the frag swap, hopefully we can do that in the near future. The more I think about it, the more I am bummed about missing meeting all you great people on the 14th. Not only would it be very beneficial for my new set up, I want to meet reef geeks like me!! And talk to people without being talked down to!! LoL, sorry. It's nice to find a place of like minded thinkers =) I don't think I have ever spent so much time on a forum. xD
  8. JAR

    JAR Supporting Member

    I hope your putting in overtime because $13.50/hr means this hobby is gonna break your bank.
    All you need is one small problem and your gonna spend big $ to keep things alive.
    If I were you I would stick to snails and when you get out of school shoot for 100K/year job.
    Then get a reef tank. :)
  9. goldielocke76

    goldielocke76 Supporting Member

    LoL, that's why I want to stick more on the FOWLR side of things. I have 2 semesters left, then I can think about more. Once I start making more money, and we get our own house, then I will get into the more advanced stuff. It just means I have tons more time to learn, that way, when I am ready, I won't feel like such a n00b
  10. Apon

    Apon Volunteer

    ok I returned your PM..I have lots of extra stuff that I would love to see go to someone who can use it.
  11. goldielocke76

    goldielocke76 Supporting Member

    Thank you! Can't wait until Saturday. It's going to feel like Christmas came early!! LOL. Tank, sump/fuge, rock, canopy, etc all coming at the end of this week O.O I am so freaking excited.

    Seeing all these tank journals have been very enlightening. Lots of good ideas, advice etc.

    Just so you all are forewarned, I ask questions. Tons of questions. Got yelled at a lot as a kid because I never shut up LoL. Your patience and answers will always be very much appreciated ^.^ I am a very visual learner, so sometimes researching things do not always do the trick, that's why I love the tank journals. Now for some questions haha.

    Does the refugium need to be lit 24/7?
    How deep of a sand bed do I need in the fuge?
    ANy recommendations for the work involving the upgrade? I.E., moving everything/everyone from the 60 to the 90. This has presented a bit of a problem. How long will the new tank need to cycle? (i.e. how many days do both tanks have to be running? Hopefully not long, my bf may kill me LOL). How do I cycle the 90, and leave everyone in the 60, if all my LR is going to the 90? (hope that makes sense).

    Also, I have heard of some reef keepers (not locally) who tried LEDs, and are now going back to t5s. What do you all think about the LEDs? (this is just for my own curiosity).

    Thank you! I have tons more questions, but I can't think of them now. =)
  12. Erick

    Erick Guest

    Does the refugium need to be lit 24/7?
    Some people run the lights for 6-8 hours ON, opposite their display tank time. Does not need to be on 24 hours.

    How deep of a sand bed do I need in the fuge?
    Depends on what you want to do. You can do mud, deep sand bed, or just an inch or two to let the plants have a place to root (depending on plants)

    ANy recommendations for the work involving the upgrade? I.E., moving everything/everyone from the 60 to the 90. This has presented a bit of a problem. How long will the new tank need to cycle? (i.e. how many days do both tanks have to be running? Hopefully not long, my bf may kill me LOL). How do I cycle the 90, and leave everyone in the 60, if all my LR is going to the 90? (hope that makes sense).

    If it were me, I would add everything from your 60 to the 90 and deal with the (hopefully short cycle). Do proper waterchanges and make sure everything is working well.
  13. goldielocke76

    goldielocke76 Supporting Member

    Interesting. I always pictured a fuge to be just a handful of chaeto and LR? Maybe some critters? The possiblility of different types of fuges never crossed my mind to be honest.
  14. gimmito

    gimmito Guest

    +1 on what Erik said. You can get as creative as you want with fuges. You can use bacteria to help cycle your tank faster such as Dr. Tim's One and Only.

    Click on his banner for more info+ I believe he posted a coupon code on his sponsor forum.
  15. goldielocke76

    goldielocke76 Supporting Member

    Thank you!! I guess now the question is, have you guys, with all of your experience, found a combo that just works incredibly well?? Unless one of you advises against it, I was going to put some of the much smaller pieces of my LR in the fuge, with a handful of chaeto (maybe something else if you guys had recommendations) with a decent bed of sand. I was kinda hoping to put a shrimp in there....maybe another critter that wouldn't do well with the puffer.

    I will definitely look into the Dr. Tims. I can't have two huge tanks set up at once for long...Denzil (the bf) would kill me. That's our entire living room!!
  16. gimmito

    gimmito Guest

    I have a 5" sand bed in my 40 gal fuge with two medium sized live rock, various red macro algae, some sea grass, & inverts. You can even try a reverse photo period to keep the ph up at night when the main lights are off.
  17. Erick

    Erick Guest

    Everything has it pros and cons. Lots of live rock rubble in a fuge can trap detritus. So can a ball of cheato.

    Do you care what the fuge the looks like, some people like having a display fuge, with different types of macro algae, it's like having a second tank :).

    You can go with no sand or live rock and just have a floating ball of chaeto and a pump to keep it rotating. Seminolecpa one of our past president's did that.
  18. goldielocke76

    goldielocke76 Supporting Member

    Was kind of hoping to go with the "second tank" look. What's considered live rock rubble? Pieces I have are about fist sized, so I didn't have much to do with them when aquascaping the first time around. Thought the fuge may be a good place for them. I guess I should add, I want the best kind of enviroment for the prolification of copepods. Not sure if this changes the perspective at all, but, my achilles heel fish would be a madarin dragonet. (someone told me mandarin goby, I now know that's incorrect). I would love to have a male female pair in my tank, so I would like a good sump for their breeding. LFS told me they breed really well in the sump, so that's what I want to shoot for, LoL.
  19. Erick

    Erick Guest

    Live rock rubble size can vary. Copepods will breed anywhere they have food and no predators. So it wouldn't matter if you make your fuge a display or not. Just make sure to not add anything that will eat them.

    On the Mandarin front, I would wait the year with a fuge running before adding them, you can get some from ORA that are captive bred and people say they get them eating prepared foods, but I also hear it's hit or miss on them.
  20. jestersix

    jestersix Sponsor

    Over the years, I have done plenty of same day tank upgrades. I have even done complete rescapes in tanks without even taking out be fish - just kept the corals damp while the Emaco cured. I usually have a five gallon bucket of fresh saltwater to "rinse" each piece of live rock before putting into the new tank.

    On water changes, I do 10% per week faithfully - now cleaning the front glass is a different story! Also dose via the Balling Light Method , not necessary in a FOWLR. Refugium light runs on opposite cycle from the display for 12 hours.

    On the building stuff, I think gimmito has a thread somewhere with a link to one of my Aquascaping talks...any questions on the building stuff, feel free to ask away!

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