Sam's 10g work tank

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by Hondo, Mar 25, 2014.

  1. Hondo

    Hondo Guest

    Tank on 4/17/15:


    >--Beginning of Tank Journal--<

    I decided to convert my 10g tank that I keep at work from a planted tank to my first nano reef tank. Which also happens to be my first real foray into saltwater.

    My intention is to make this setup as easy and painless as possible to maintain since I will not be at work over the weekends. I am also using the same equipment that I had when I was running it as a planted tank. The only changes being that I plan on switching the power compact bulb and I plan on running Chemi-Pure Elite and Seachem Purigen in the filter.

    10g Miracle Baby rimless tank
    Aqua Clear 20 power filter
    Archea 36w light
    Marineland Visi-Therm Heater 50w
    11lbs. BRS Reef Saver Dry Aquarium Live Rock
    10lb Fiji Pink Arag-Alive! Reef Sand
    Koralia Nano powerhead pump 425 gph
    Coralife 50/50 Compact Fluorescent Lamp - Straight Pin - 36 W - 16"

    I tore down the tank and did a thorough cleaning of the tank and all equipment.

    When this tank was running as a planted tank I never bothered with a background. However, I wanted a blue background for my nano reef because I believe it gives the illusion of depth. I have always done the plastic backgrounds that i scotch tape to the back of the tank. However, because of the expected salt creep I wanted to paint the back of the tank which I had never done before. I purchased a can of Krylon Fusion "Patriot Blue" paint from my local Ace Hardware store and went to work on painting the back of the tank.


    Last edited: Apr 17, 2015
  2. Hondo

    Hondo Guest

    I went to Neptune Aquatics Wednesday, 3/5/14 and purchased 2 five gallon containers, the saltwater, and a bottle of Brightwell Aquatics MicroBacter7.
    When I got into work on Thursday 3/6/14, I added the dead rock and sand into the tank. I then added saltwater into the tank.



  3. Hondo

    Hondo Guest

    Today, Friday 3/7, I added the powerhead, lights, heater, and AquaClear 20 filter running only filter floss to help polish the water.
    After adding the equipment and letting the filter run for a few hours I added the MicroBacter7 to the tank as per directions. The tank looks much better than it did yesterday but still needs a little more time before the water is crystal clear.

    Last edited: Apr 23, 2014
  4. Hondo

    Hondo Guest

    As for the MicroBacter7 I am anxious to see how well it works for me. It was recommended to me by a Neptune Aquatics employee that I trust and excited to see the magic happen. It seems that cycling a saltwater reef tank takes a much longer time than freshwater, so anything to shorten the cycle time is good with me. :)

    Below is a youtube video by ReefDVMs that tests this product with convincing results.
  5. Hondo

    Hondo Guest

    There is not much of an update as of today Tuesday 3/25/14. It is now day 19 of the cycling process.

    The tank is still cycling. The ammonia portion of the cycle is complete. It only took about a week for the ammonia to get to zero. I now dose ammonia daily and by the next day the ammonia is at 0 ppm. I'm still waiting on the nitrites to drop down to zero. I have diatoms on the rocks and sand, and from what I have read this is a good indication that the cycle should be nearing completion.

    I have been adding the MicroBacter7 daily and I even bought a small bottle of Seachem Stability that I added to the tank. I didn't experience an instant cycle and I couldn't tell you whether the bacteria in a bottle works or not. My hope is that it at least is shortning the cycling process by a few weeks.

    I never new how much longer it takes to cycle a saltwater tank. Waiting is the worst part. :(
  6. Hondo

    Hondo Guest

    I just tested the water today Thursday 3/27/14 and ammonia is at 0 ppm and and nitrites are now at 0 ppm. I had tested the nitrites yesterday at they were at .25 ppm, so I was hopeful that it would be cycled today.

    I will continue feeding the tank ammonia for a few more days to make sure.

    Now comes the exciting part of actually adding something alive that I can actually see. :)
  7. tr1gger

    tr1gger Keyboard Cowboy

    Very nice! Picos are fun but they are a gateway drug.....grrrrr....tank ;)
  8. Kensington Reefer

    Kensington Reefer Supporting Member

    No desk is complete without a reef in the middle of it!
  9. Hondo

    Hondo Guest

    The tank has been cycled since Thursday 3/27/14. I have been feeding the tank ammonia to keep the bacteria alive until I decide what my next step is.

    I know that at this stage I am suppose to add a clean up crew to the tank. However, I believe in my case that may not be a good idea since my tank is pretty prestine and I don't believe there is enough to sustain the snails that I would like to add. The only algae that I see are diatoms and they are already going away on their own.

    I think I should just add some fish and corals:

    For fish, I would like to add a yellow clown goby first. However, I am not sure if I need to add corals before purchasing the goby since I have read that they like to be on corals. I would also like to add a shrimpgoby/pistol shrimp combo. And if this is not considered too overstocked, some kind of peaceful fish that likes to swim in the middle of the tank. Not sure what this would be.

    For corals, I would like some easy zoas, ricordeas, mushrooms, and not sure what else. I'm hoping some members make some suggestions as to what to get first or have some coral frags that I can acquire.

    I have been taking it slow, but now that I'm suppose to add livestock into the tank I'm a little gun shy because I don't want to make a mistake and kill something. :(

    I haven't even turned on the lights in the tank except for taking pictures and when I initially installed the power compact bulb to make sure it works. Not sure how long a photoperiod I'm suppose to keep.

    My hope is that my next post will actually have some pictures of living creatures in this tank. :D

  10. Hondo

    Hondo Guest

    My family and I attended the New Hobbyist Workshop on Saturday and had a great time.

    The event was informative and it was great to meet other members. Plus, being new to saltwater it was very helpful to be able ask a lot of questions face to face.

    I became a supporting member and was able to bring home my very first corals. The 3 frags according to the containers were from Diablo Corals and they were a mushroom coral, green star polyp, and a palythoa.

    I went to work around 11:00 p.m. that evening. Up until that night all I had been doing is continuing to dose the tank with ammonia to keep the bacteria feed.

    I did a massive water change. Dipped my new corals in Coral Rx for around 20 minutes and noticed some some transparent looking critters on the bottom of the dipping container, and then placed the corals in the tank.

    The pictures below are the corals after being placed in the tank on Saturday.



  11. Hondo

    Hondo Guest

    When I came to work this Monday morning 4/14 and looked at my tank it was nice to see some life after waiting patiently for many weeks. :)

    Being new to saltwater and reef tanks it is amazing to see how these little corals are starting to blossom like a beautiful flower. It is still mind blowing to me to think that they are animals.

    I can't wait until the corals are acclimated, fully extended, and looking great.

    photo 9.JPG

    photo 10.JPG

    photo 11.JPG

    photo 12.JPG
    denzil likes this.
  12. FeliciaLynn

    FeliciaLynn Supporting Member

    Looking good! I'm glad the corals are opening up for you nicely. It was nice to meet you at the New Hobbyist Worskshop and I hope to see you at the future BAR events! I'm glad to hear you had a good time and got a lot of your questions answered. Please feel free to use the forums to ask questions as they arise! That's what they're here for and you'll typically get quite a few helpful responses.
  13. Devon

    Devon Guest

    Looks good! You are on your way.
  14. Hondo

    Hondo Guest

    Well I went to Neptune Aquatics yesterday and splurged.

    While fishless cycling I had been feeding the tank a high amount of ammonia to maintain a large amount of bacteria, so I added a few things.

    I added 2 baby ocellaris clownfish, 5 blue legged hermit crabs, 1 nassarius snail, 1 orange ricordea, 1 green ricordea, and eagle eye zoas.

    I am done adding anything in the tank for now.

    I will wait a few weeks until everything gets settled.

    The only thing I plan on adding is some cerith snails and maybe 1 yellow clown goby. I'm not sure with the yellow clown goby since I think I might be fully stocked with 2 clown fish.

    Other than that I would like to continue to add some various corals. Since this is only a 10g tank I want to try and be as selective on the types of corals that I acquire.





  15. Devon

    Devon Guest

    Like the new additions! Watch out for the blue leg crabs they can be little menaces. They like to kill snails for the shells. Put a few extra shells in for them to grow into.
  16. Hondo

    Hondo Guest


    Thanks for the advice. I'll get some shells next time I'm at Neptunes.
  17. denzil

    denzil Webmaster

    Yeah, definitely want to get some extra shells. Also, I wouldn't worry too much about the yellow Clown Goby as it'll hardly affect your setup unless you were running a pico tank. Even then, it probably wouldn't do too much.
  18. Hondo

    Hondo Guest

    I'm glad I'll be able to get the goby. The yellow will be a nice contrast of color.
    FeliciaLynn likes this.
  19. Hondo

    Hondo Guest

    I like my setup and so far everything seems to be going well. However, I realize that this tank is very new and I haven't had enough time to mess anything up.

    As of now, the only thing that I would change is maybe the lighting. The 36w pc 50/50 bulb does not give me enough actinic to make to colors of the corals stand out.
  20. FeliciaLynn

    FeliciaLynn Supporting Member

    Everything looks great! Glad its doing so well. An LED fixture would probably be nice because most of them are set up so you can independently dim the white and blue channels. So you can get it just the right level of blue for your tastes.

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