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So an intro, not too different from others I imagine...was into fish and did the typical beginner thing of freshwater first and increased size and complexity until I topped out there with a 6 ft planted breeding discus tanks. Still one of my favorite tanks. I started into salt water tanks with a running 70 gal used tank in 1999. I literally picked up the water, rock, tank and fish. Great price too of $200. I did not know what I had with being so new to saltwater. What I lucked into was a mature tank with lots of copapods, a fat and happy mandarin fish with well balanced fish population. Instant success and fell in love with the saltwater aspect of the hobby. I did move that tank and inhabitants 2 states away and lost no one. There I started into soft corals and inverts. At the max, I had 4 tanks with different aspects of the hobby. Reef tank, aggressive fish, eel tank and a smaller coral tank for QT/observation. About 10 years ago, I had a catastrophic tank loss of all my tanks over a few days except the dragon eel which took my 3 months to get to eating regularly again. Don't entirely know what happened but it's narrowed down to the water (?salt mixture) or the food (frozen meaty food) cause that is all that is common between the tanks. Reading on this and other forums about salt issues makes me favor that though. At the same time the LFS lost his shark tank of 20 years and I bought my salt there. All guesses though. At same time, I was getting ill and that made everything happening with my tanks harder to manage and harder to recover from the heartbreak of losing fish that had been with me for a long time. It hit my kids hard too. I dismantled everything, re-homed the eel and left the hobby. Spent the next decade fighting illness and am finally recovered and learning to live again. As I have gotten stronger....my attention turned to fish. Somewhat nervous and also excited to start again. It does feel in some way all new after so much that has gone on in my life and the hobby seems both different and the same from the outside.
 

Jposch

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So an intro, not too different from others I imagine...was into fish and did the typical beginner thing of freshwater first and increased size and complexity until I topped out there with a 6 ft planted breeding discus tanks. Still one of my favorite tanks. I started into salt water tanks with a running 70 gal used tank in 1999. I literally picked up the water, rock, tank and fish. Great price too of $200. I did not know what I had with being so new to saltwater. What I lucked into was a mature tank with lots of copapods, a fat and happy mandarin fish with well balanced fish population. Instant success and fell in love with the saltwater aspect of the hobby. I did move that tank and inhabitants 2 states away and lost no one. There I started into soft corals and inverts. At the max, I had 4 tanks with different aspects of the hobby. Reef tank, aggressive fish, eel tank and a smaller coral tank for QT/observation. About 10 years ago, I had a catastrophic tank loss of all my tanks over a few days except the dragon eel which took my 3 months to get to eating regularly again. Don't entirely know what happened but it's narrowed down to the water (?salt mixture) or the food (frozen meaty food) cause that is all that is common between the tanks. Reading on this and other forums about salt issues makes me favor that though. At the same time the LFS lost his shark tank of 20 years and I bought my salt there. All guesses though. At same time, I was getting ill and that made everything happening with my tanks harder to manage and harder to recover from the heartbreak of losing fish that had been with me for a long time. It hit my kids hard too. I dismantled everything, re-homed the eel and left the hobby. Spent the next decade fighting illness and am finally recovered and learning to live again. As I have gotten stronger....my attention turned to fish. Somewhat nervous and also excited to start again. It does feel in some way all new after so much that has gone on in my life and the hobby seems both different and the same from the outside.
Just a warning, Fish are nowhere near as healthy as they used to be. I absolutely do not recommend foregoing QT completely. Uronema being the biggest thing. it's not just a chromis disease anymore. You may have seen there are vendors here that sell fish that are already QT'd, and DT ready, or you can just observe them in a QT without having to Fuss with copper and meds.
 

Veritas

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Build plan:
Going smaller than my prior mixed reef tank and using the Waterbox, Infinia 215.5
Radion XR30 that will be turned down in the beginning
Vectra M2 pump
Vortex MP10s to start cause the first inhabitants will be fish and softies while maturing tank
The provided sump though I might change that in the future
Red octopus skimmer...liked my old ones so went with them for that reason.
Top Lid for custom tank top

1. I am excited by the clean look of the new to me rimless tanks but the lack of lid is a concern for my inquisitive cats. So invested into a lid that supposedly hold 40-50 lbs. Will have to see about that fact though. Also, I love wrasses and once found one of my eels out of the tank...thankfully fine so I don't run without lids/mesh. Won't miss cleaning the glass of the old style lids though
2. Excited about the cooler temps on the LED lights vs the metal halides I used to run. Hopefully won't need chillers anymore. I did love the look of halides with T5 combos and hope the new ones still look as nice. I have no clue about choosing a spectrum other than the knowledge of how I picked out spectrum bulbs for plant growth and the blue end for corals back in the day. So lots to learn there.
3. The newer in tank pumps look easier to maintain too although I like to do tank maintenance.
4. The sump has filter socks which I will likely not use after the initially set up. I had one for the last year before the tank crashes and it was raising some concern about too sterile of a tank for me. Not sure but it was something that was hitting my mental radar compared to my older tanks that never had that.
5. I had used UV on that overly sterile feeling tank and I am on the fence at the moment about UV...pros and cons. Its like medicine...good comes but there are side effects and is it worth it.

Tank and stand arrives on Tuesday.....hopefully anyway
 

Jposch

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If it were me, I'd keep the UV, and agree on the filter socks. I don't like to use any socks or carbon one tanks unless its needed, and only for a short period. i mostly use socks to siphon out cyano, dinos or algae and not have to actually change the water. lol sometimes, I'll even vacuum the sand into a sock in the sump if i have a fine enough sock
 

Veritas

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No worries @Jposch but thanks for the heads up. That is how I found this site was searching for QT and treatment protocols. Love Humblefish's approaches at looking scienctifically at things. Have a plan and the supplies already here. Also have the items need to treat diseases too. Its rather unfortunate that fish are so much less healthy. I have been making a list of vendors that QT and reputable coral vendors for when ready. I do like that there is more aquafarming and more effort at sustainable practices too!
 

Jposch

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No worries @Jposch but thanks for the heads up. That is how I found this site was searching for QT and treatment protocols. Love Humblefish's approaches at looking scienctifically at things. Have a plan and the supplies already here. Also have the items need to treat diseases too. Its rather unfortunate that fish are so much less healthy. I have been making a list of vendors that QT and reputable coral vendors for when ready. I do like that there is more aquafarming and more effort at sustainable practices too!
yes. I do have aquacultured, and Fallowed coral on my website. in my signature. plenty of leather corals. I'm always complaining about people obsessing over wild coral that cannot be cultured. ha

the vendors here have been approved by @Humblefish there are other place around the web that claim QT'd fish, but some are more careless than others and have had customers receive sick, or injured fish. And, in many cases, the injuries did not occur during shipping.
 

Veritas

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In the progress of aquascaping. Never really did that unless you call stacking live rock against the back of the tank as stable as possible lol. It never was and eventually they would tumble. My urchins were the worst about that but too adorable and practical to remove. I did try epoxy but it did not reliable cure on wet rock.

So this time, I got Marco rock and was inspired to aquascape. So with much trepidation, this old gal took a sledgehammer to 120 lbs of rock to make rubble and then glue them together with untrustworthy in my past epoxy! I had a blast breaking the rocks. It was hard to get started as this is so much different for me but I did and am rather excited about the way it is going. Trying to plan coral placement, fish homes, deliberate shade areas for low light and high light areas and similar flow issues. Have to see real time though as this is my first attempt at such a thing. The aquascape is in progress and almost done and I will post pics. I have use an unbelievable amount of epoxy but it does seem more solid than the past being able to air-dry....fingers crossed. If it breaks my new tank while being transferred in...I will cry but lesson learned. I actually have a plan to soften that impact to get safely in tank. I also did it the aquascape in parts so the weight is more manageable. Spouse has been commandeered too just does not know it yet. Currently the cats are sleeping around it....so it seems solid
 

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tonights plans are plumbing the RO/DI system. We are on a deep well but have already tested the water to see if it has changed in pH etc. Seems more or less the same though. Have already been sterilizing the two tank quarantine set up and water storage tanks (AkA brute trash cans). Will be installing the auto shut off valves when they arrive on the brute trash cans). I am doing it the way I did it before. Sump pump from salt water mix (heated and aerated) via python to tank after draining with python for my weekly water change. The new tank comes with an autotop off tank...something new to try as well. Adding fresh RO/DI water was part of interacting with the tank so wondering will I miss it. One day would love to have a more formal water storage station and drains to and from the tank(s). Wanted that 10 years ago and still do lol. I am already eyeing a small tank...for invertebrate and coral Qt to leave running.
 

Veritas

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I had already looked at your site, @Jposch but it makes it even more fun to be on the forum with you!....Of course it also makes it harder to wait until the proper time after looking at all your lovely corals too! Pretty sure you will have a future order from me once my tank is cycling, looking stable and starting to mature.
 

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Cycling:....Spent hours on this, stressing about this and still wondering about this. So I ran into some lovely talks and some experiments from aquabiomics and Hovanac that really suggest the aquascaped dry rock is going to be rough to cycle. I am not terribly opposed to the pests but I do want to have healthy fish without disease. Being as all my old tanks were live rock, it was normal to have bristleworms, aptasia etc and so I learned to manage them with fish/inverts. I also was curious about refugiums in the past and really want to do that on this set-up. So do I innoculate said sterile dead rock with live sand/rubble? Lots of no stock availble on this. My LFS has some cycling rock...some of that? I live rurally and so not alot of options there. Go to the nearby pacific and try water from there although a cold water source and I am a tropical mixed reef eventual plan? Use those bacterial in a bottle that I am suspicios is snake oil? idk idk idk. Current plan though is being on a waitlist of reputable company for live and tested for pathogens dna rock rubble and sand to inoculate tank. Hoping the waitlist is not too long though
 

Jposch

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I had already looked at your site, @Jposch but it makes it even more fun to be on the forum with you!....Of course it also makes it harder to wait until the proper time after looking at all your lovely corals too! Pretty sure you will have a future order from me once my tank is cycling, looking stable and starting to mature.
I always say, if i can't kill it, you won't either. lol most has seen salinity as low as 1.016 when I forgot to shut off the valve when I was topping off...twice, as high as 1.030 when I wasn't paying attention enough. many alk swings of 2dkh+ in one day. I even left a toadstool laying on my cold basement floor overnight once. it opened up within an hour of being placed back home. lol I baby the stony coral a little more though.
 

Jposch

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Cycling:....Spent hours on this, stressing about this and still wondering about this. So I ran into some lovely talks and some experiments from aquabiomics and Hovanac that really suggest the aquascaped dry rock is going to be rough to cycle. I am not terribly opposed to the pests but I do want to have healthy fish without disease. Being as all my old tanks were live rock, it was normal to have bristleworms, aptasia etc and so I learned to manage them with fish/inverts. I also was curious about refugiums in the past and really want to do that on this set-up. So do I innoculate said sterile dead rock with live sand/rubble? Lots of no stock availble on this. My LFS has some cycling rock...some of that? I live rurally and so not alot of options there. Go to the nearby pacific and try water from there although a cold water source and I am a tropical mixed reef eventual plan? Use those bacterial in a bottle that I am suspicios is snake oil? idk idk idk. Current plan though is being on a waitlist of reputable company for live and tested for pathogens dna rock rubble and sand to inoculate tank. Hoping the waitlist is not too long though
If you'd like, I could send you some rubble or sand or something for the cost of shipping. the only thing I cannot tell you for sure on is uronema. Aquabiomics tests are better than nothing, but @35ppt has seen false negatives for things. (test did not show aptasia DNA when tank was infested) I have plenty of little critters and such from starting all of my tanks from old tanks that were set up with live rock years ago. Your LFS rock is likely to just be cycled dry rock. Most bottled bacteria just has the species that handles ammonia, so you still have to wait for the other types to colonize as well, and then you will not have hundreds of species. just a small handful. the cycle will tank you a long whiles, so if you seed with any Live stuff, You can turn the temp up to 80.6+ and be done with fallow period in 6 weeks.
 

Veritas

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TLDR: I am not handy and the simple to install RO/DI was not. :p

So, I am truly in the slow start...perhaps slower than I want lol. Anyway....the plumbing for the RODI system did not go smooth. In my defense, I am not a handy type and have long admired those talented peeps! The instructions were good and I only had to move 1 screw to get the system on the wall above the laundry sink in case of leaks, success 1. Got the fitting on said sink - trouble 1...took awhile cause I have a weird tap size. Had to special order those fittings long ago. They are in the house somewhere but haven't yet found them. Project for next week when I am off of work. Pieced together a small leaking workable solution. Success 2 perhaps but in progress. Started system...it works! Not enough pressure like before and I had ordered a new pump for that....screws line up with old place install in wall. Think its a success until pump falls out of wall into bucket that is holding the priming waste water from ro system - trouble 2. laugh, fishout pump, dry everything off and find a new place that is more solid and eventually success. Run tubing to trash cans in garage nearby with creative ways to get out of the way of people actually using the kitchen/laundry room area. Leaks fixings from said over head tubing line connectors. Temporary solution but now filling water into my containers (that I had ofc previously sterilized). It only took 7 hours lol. Was pretty happy and went to bed cause I work nightshift and do this stuff while my family is sleeping. Did instruct spouse on how to turn off if a problem.

So apparently, the new septic system we installed, can't handle the waste water from the ro system and was alarming. So, rerouted my tubing to waste to the flower bed instead of drain and likely better use of waste water. Ordered water saver component to install in future when I feel brave and to decrease waste water. I don't wish to be wasting water like that anyway. Finally almost filled two 45 gal trash cans, made salt in one, aerated it and heated it for a quarantine tank. egads simple my foot.
 

Veritas

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One of my cats helping me do forum reading and writing here!
 

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Veritas

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So meanwhile, after watching people create dry rock aquascapes...I was inspired cause the rock walls always tumbled eventually. Never broke a tank or killed anything but it was probably just a matter of time. I watched tons of utubes, looked at pics and ordered rocks, glue etc. My house is a disaster atm. Only room not affected is my son's bedroom and I was eyeing it as a QT tank place to get 10 ft of separation thing lol. My family is surprisingly tolerant atm but I will definitely have to get this straightened out for me. I used to have my reef tanks all tidy so not sure what is going on...maybe before because it was over time and been in it for 15 years. Now, I am going straight to a mid range tank and that is more of a process. idk...my home is a disaster
 
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