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Cog's 36g Reef(Upgraded to 90g)

1NC0GNIT0

Supporting Member
Hello All,

Thought I would start my tank journal here at BAR. Have already posted one at R2R HERE but have not updated since adding coral.

Back in the early 1990's I had a 90g display tank setup with Fiji live rock, 2(175W metal halides), 2(75W Super Actinic Blue VHO), large wet/dry sump and 1/4hp chiller with a mix of coral and fish.

I was working weekend grave at Xilinx with a 4 on 3 off, 3 on 4 off schedule. So I decided to take the family to Berryessa Lake on one of my 4 off weeks in the summer. When I returned my tank was reef soup, everything was dead. It had over heated even though I had AC and a chiller. So I decided to call it quits and sold my salt water setup and told myself never again until LED lighting was perfected and affordable.

Late last summer I found myself missing that beautiful reef setup and started researching LED lighting. Finding many affordable options for lighting and an abundance of information about how to properly care for salt water reef aquariums. It was time to get back into the salty side of life and decided to convert one of my fresh water setups over to a reef.

Decided to use my 36 gallon glass aquarium with a Fluval 306 canister filter.
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For Christmas last year Santa brought me a 6 stage RODI system and 40lbs of Carib sea dry rock.
Shortly after I made my aqua scape and started cycling it in the garage while I cleaned my tank up
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Got the tank cleaned up.
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and moved the rock into the tank with a couple of snow flake clowns.
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The tank cycled until May when I got my lighting(Relassy 300W dimmable LED) for my birthday. During the cycling time I had a few ups and downs learning how to properly care for the tank.
Note: damsels are evil and kill everything! Over feeding makes the nitrates and phosphates very high!
Before adding the lighting I removed the rock in order to catch the fish and returned all them to the LFS and restarted the fish population with one marron clown and a yellow watchmen goby for now.
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Added two pieces of coral. One Kryptonite Candy Cane Coral and a green palythoa from the lfs.
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I am now holding off on adding anything more until the frag swap in San Francisco. See you guys there!

Any tips, hints or suggestions welcome.
 

H2OPlayar

Member Relations
BOD
I have a few thoughts, feel free to take or ignore any or all of my suggestions.

-Your new rock will likely be leaching phosphates and nitrates in addition to your food input. I remember fighting those for the first 6-9 months when I was "curing" my rock in my tank as I started adding things.
-I would consider adding some live rock or rubble from an established system to get pods and coralline algae boosted in your tank
-Be wary of those Palys, they are good growers, so be sure they are either on an island or rock that can be taken out for your future planning. If you want any other starter softies, pm me and I have a few that are good starters
-Damsels are great for starting tanks, but only that, and I lost some fish to that lesson too
-Canister filters can be successful, but they have to be cleaned out very regularly to not be a nitrate factory. I would consider looking into a plumbed in sump to house your equipment under your tank, it can be a small sump like a 15 gallon tank, but they are nice to have.

Overall, great start! I really like the rock scape and the corner tank is a cool style I have not seen often.
 

1NC0GNIT0

Supporting Member
I have a few thoughts, feel free to take or ignore any or all of my suggestions.

-Your new rock will likely be leaching phosphates and nitrates in addition to your food input. I remember fighting those for the first 6-9 months when I was "curing" my rock in my tank as I started adding things.
I have been using Phosphate E to help control the high readings. It has help considerably.

-I would consider adding some live rock or rubble from an established system to get pods and coralline algae boosted in your tank
I have been adding pods(twice now and ordering monthly from algae barn) and feeding plankton daily. Have also gotten coralline algae scrapings from the lfs to help seed the tank.

-Be wary of those Palys, they are good growers, so be sure they are either on an island or rock that can be taken out for your future planning. If you want any other starter softies, pm me and I have a few that are good starters
I will remove from that large rock and place on something smaller on the bottom of the tank to help control. I would be happy to PM for a few starters. Thanks!

-Damsels are great for starting tanks, but only that, and I lost some fish to that lesson too
agreed

-Canister filters can be successful, but they have to be cleaned out very regularly to not be a nitrate factory. I would consider looking into a plumbed in sump to house your equipment under your tank, it can be a small sump like a 15 gallon tank, but they are nice to have.
I clean my canister filter at least once and sometimes twice a week depending on how much I feed. Have been looking into some sump options but very limited space. I may build one to fit in the future.

Overall, great start! I really like the rock scape and the corner tank is a cool style I have not seen often.
Thank You!
 

1NC0GNIT0

Supporting Member
Yea, get rid if that paly unless you want a full tank of them. I've got some zoas for you to replace that guy.
I really like that paly, it glows real nice under the blue light. you can not see it in the photo. I was thinking of mounting it somehow on one of the back walls and letting it go crazy. That way if it gets too out of hand I can scrape it off with a razor. I would be happy to take you up on that offer for the zoa's. I will be back to work in the bay area soon when the covid regulations are lifted, Would be happy to stop by then.
 

1NC0GNIT0

Supporting Member
Ok I took the advice and moved the paly to the sand bed for now. Also moved the power heads again. I am struggling to find where to place them and not get flow that blows my sand everywhere. Placed them both in the back corner so the flow goes to each front corner of the tank. One 1600gph AC pump and another 3500gph DC wavemaker. The wavemaker is turned down to 30% or it will make the tank overflow. Tell me what you think about the flow. Also since I turned the lights on the algae has started to grow. My emerald crab and snails just can not keep up. Hopefully the ugly stage will not last long.

HERE is a link to a short video of my tank today.

 

1NC0GNIT0

Supporting Member
Water parameters today.
Temp 78
Salinity 35
PH 8.3
Nitrates 5
Phosphates 0.233 or 76ppb
Alk 9.1
Cal 420
Mag NA Still need meter. I was thinking about getting the Hanna but prefer some suggestions.
 

Srt4eric

Vice President
BOD
Water parameters today.
Temp 78
Salinity 35
PH 8.3
Nitrates 5
Phosphates 0.233 or 76ppb
Alk 9.1
Cal 420
Mag NA Still need meter. I was thinking about getting the Hanna but prefer some suggestions.

For alk I use KHG, Hanna and Salifert
For phos I use Hanna and Salifert
For everything else I use Salifert
Can't go wrong with Salifert
 
The only issue I have with salifert is the tests with powder reagents seem to absorb some moisture from the air at some point and I worry that would effect the results, but who knows.
also their phosphate test is tough for me because if you are below .25 I think (it’s been awhile) and above zero I can’t differentiate at all really.
 

1NC0GNIT0

Supporting Member
The only issue I have with salifert is the tests with powder reagents seem to absorb some moisture from the air at some point and I worry that would effect the results, but who knows.
also their phosphate test is tough for me because if you are below .25 I think (it’s been awhile) and above zero I can’t differentiate at all really.
Looks like the magnesium checker will be salifert. That will complete my test kit.

Hanna ULR is what I use for phosphorus. Its very easy with only one reagent and accurate.
 

1NC0GNIT0

Supporting Member
Was looking at my tank this morning and noticed the copepod population is booming. They completely cover the glass. have only treated the tank with two 16 ounce bottles and have been feeding phytoplankton daily(10mg) for a couple of weeks now. Very happy :D
 

1NC0GNIT0

Supporting Member
Since adding the light, the algae is starting to grow to the point it is waving in the current. Have added MicroBacter Clean twice and each time my tank gets cloudy for three or four days. My question is should I keep adding the MicroBacter or let the ugly phase run its course?
 

Srt4eric

Vice President
BOD
Since adding the light, the algae is starting to grow to the point it is waving in the current. Have added MicroBacter Clean twice and each time my tank gets cloudy for three or four days. My question is should I keep adding the MicroBacter or let the ugly phase run its course?
What's your clean up crew consist of? You don't have an algae problem, you have an herbivore problem.
 

1NC0GNIT0

Supporting Member
What's your clean up crew consist of? You don't have an algae problem, you have an herbivore problem.
1 Emerald Crab
1 Hermit Crab
1 Astraea Snail
1 Yellow watchmen Goby
2 Nassarius Snails
1 Very small star fish that I have no idea where it came from
 

1NC0GNIT0

Supporting Member
Update 6-12-21

About two weeks ago I added Microbacter Clean and my tank started to cloud up over night. I have not dosed Microbacter Clean since and the tank continues to cloud up.

I have done several 15(41.66%) gallon water changes. A couple per week, two consecutive days and then skipping a day and doing another 15(41.66% gallon change. Also cleaning the filter and changing out all of the carbon.

My tank still remains cloudy.

Parameters are as of today 6:30pm

Temp - 80.2 F
Salinity - 36
PH - 8.3
Ammonia - 0
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 0
Phosphate 0.024
Alkalinity - 10.1
Cal - 440
Mag - 1400
Copper - 0


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Tank clears up quite a bit after water change but goes back to this.

Please help.
 

H2OPlayar

Member Relations
BOD
Update 6-12-21

About two weeks ago I added Microbacter Clean and my tank started to cloud up over night. I have not dosed Microbacter Clean since and the tank continues to cloud up.

I have done several 15(41.66%) gallon water changes. A couple per week, two consecutive days and then skipping a day and doing another 15(41.66% gallon change. Also cleaning the filter and changing out all of the carbon.

My tank still remains cloudy.

Parameters are as of today 6:30pm

Temp - 80.2 F
Salinity - 36
PH - 8.3
Ammonia - 0
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 0
Phosphate 0.024
Alkalinity - 10.1
Cal - 440
Mag - 1400
Copper - 0


View attachment 28537

Tank clears up quite a bit after water change but goes back to this.

Please help.
Cloudy water is more often than not a bacterial bloom. A quick read up on MB Clean says it is bacteria that eat stuff that is prevalent in the "ugly" phase. If you had a bunch of stuff that was making it "ugly" and the bacteria is eating it, then you are going to get a lot of bacteria until the food source goes away, or another bacteria outcompetes. UV can fight bacterial blooms, but that just is a band aid, not going after the root cause. Nothing in your water parameters are weird, except temp is a little high (which would accelerate bacterial growth). I know you have heard me say it before, but a sump will help here too. I read up top that you are maxing out your flow, and that is good. Flow will help. Cleaning the canister every day might help, but then you are asking bacteria from your tank to re-seed the filter media every day so maybe clean it 2-4x a week.
 

1NC0GNIT0

Supporting Member
Cloudy water is more often than not a bacterial bloom. A quick read up on MB Clean says it is bacteria that eat stuff that is prevalent in the "ugly" phase. If you had a bunch of stuff that was making it "ugly" and the bacteria is eating it, then you are going to get a lot of bacteria until the food source goes away, or another bacteria outcompetes. UV can fight bacterial blooms, but that just is a band aid, not going after the root cause. Nothing in your water parameters are weird, except temp is a little high (which would accelerate bacterial growth). I know you have heard me say it before, but a sump will help here too. I read up top that you are maxing out your flow, and that is good. Flow will help. Cleaning the canister every day might help, but then you are asking bacteria from your tank to re-seed the filter media every day so maybe clean it 2-4x a week.
Well it sounds like I just need to let the tank balance it self out. I will continue to clean the filter and change water.

Thank You for the help.
 
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