First post and first reef tank.

Discussion in 'New to Reefing' started by fasteddie, Jul 13, 2008.

  1. fasteddie

    fasteddie

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    Hi everyone,
    I am new to the saltwater world and new to this forum. I am in my 3rd week of cycling my new 55g tank and algae seemed to grow over night once I got the right lighting. I was wondering if this is normal that it looks kinda brown to me, and from what I've read, brown is bad. Right? It has little hairs clinging to the base rock which I am assuming is just algae too. If I can get a picture of it I will post it to help determine what color it is.
    A quick rundown of the tank......55 gal, biowheel, skimmer, heater, powerhead, about 25 lbs of base rock, live sand, Nova T-5 10000k actinic, 216 watts *I think*, and 6 Damsels....All of my levels are where they should be and in fact, I am in the middle of the nitrate spike right now. I think I am doing everyhthing right so not too worried, but if I am, please point it out. But in the meantime I still wonder, should I have a brownish algae on the base rock at this stage of the game? Thanks in advance for any advice. I will try to post a pic soon.

    Eddie
     
    fasteddie, Jul 13, 2008
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  2. fasteddie

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

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    First off,Welcome to the site and the hobby.
    You'll most likely come to regret those damsels.They become very aggressive and will bully other fish and have been know to kill corals.Not to mention,you've got WAY to many in a cycling tank.In reality,you shouldnt add anything that alive untill after the cycle is complete.
    Go a head and pull that bio-wheel to,since your setting up a reef.The wheel will cause you to have high nitrates.Which is fuel for algae and cyano bacteria.
    And the brown algae your seeing is probably diatoms.Which is perfectly normal in a new system.They will go away on the own as the silicates in the water are used up.
    Good luck with it and post any questions you have.

    BTW
    Dont forget to read throgh the helpful articles section.Its full of great info.
     
    yote, Jul 13, 2008
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  3. fasteddie

    RyanG ^*Eternal Dumbass*^

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    Yote has it covered so Welcome to the Reef!
     
    RyanG, Jul 13, 2008
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  4. fasteddie

    Piggy

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    Welcome!
     
    Piggy, Jul 13, 2008
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  5. fasteddie

    daugherty part time reefer

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    welcome
     
    daugherty, Jul 13, 2008
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  6. fasteddie

    cumminz

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    I agree on the Damsels. too many and to agressive. Welcome bro. Be sure to take what everyone online says to a grain of sand. Also, remember to take wha the LFS tells you, and dont really listen to them. So what damsels at 5 bucks a piece. easy 30 bucks for them to prey on the inexperienced. I go to the LFS to see what I want, ask them questions, just to make talk and not seem rude, then go home and read about 10 articles and come up with my own conclusion. Remember that and It will help you more than you think. It sure has helped me alot. Also, see if there is a local reef club where you are located and join that. i have learned alot more since I signed up to mine and started going to the meetings. Research everything before you buy it for a few days to make sure you really want it. Make a stocking plan on what you know you want coral and fish and invert wise. I assume you are gona run corals using those lights. Also, wait about 2-4 weeks between ading fish. Dont buy anything on impulse. I made that mistake when I started, but I did learn my lesson. I hope you have a great time learning and watching your tank Grow. You will love it. I know I do
     
    cumminz, Jul 13, 2008
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  7. fasteddie

    reeffreak

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    Welcome to Living Reefs!

    Eventually add an addition 25-50lbs of live rock and then you can do without the biowheel altogether.Live rock makes a better biofilter,good luck and post pics!
     
    reeffreak, Jul 13, 2008
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  8. fasteddie

    Hornet

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    Welcome to Livingreefs :Cheers:
     
    Hornet, Jul 13, 2008
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  9. fasteddie

    fasteddie

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    Thanks for the warm welcome and the informative replies. Like I said, I am very new to the saltwater world so I will have a lot of questions I'm sure. In fact, I had to ask the salesman at the LFS how to make saltwater from regular water...lol...I have had freshwater tanks most of my life but never SW.
    I also agree on the damsels being mean, I found that out the first night I brought them home. I was told to put 4-6 damsels through the first cycle and then take them back (or most of them) after my 50% water change to get other fish, coral, and inverts.

    Speaking of corals, I am trying to figure out just what kind of corals I can get with my setup. I really like brains but I was told that I *may* get away with a red brain, but probably not a green one. Not sure why but assuming the reds are hardier? If I figured it out right, I am at 3.92 watts per gal...216w / 55gal = 3.92wpg...any opinions?

    Thanks again...Eddie
     
    fasteddie, Jul 13, 2008
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  10. fasteddie

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

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    It might be a good idea to wait untill your tank is closer to 6 months old before adding a brain.Those are an LPS(large polyp stony) and need a moderate water flow and medium to high light.As far as red or green,I doubt that makes any kind of difference except for the price.
    Once your cycles done,pick a couple of small,hardy fish that you like.A lot of folks use clownfish and add no more than 2.Then wait 3 to 4 weeks before adding anything else(easier said than done).
    Above all else,the slower you go,the better your tank will be.
     
    yote, Jul 13, 2008
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  11. fasteddie

    fasteddie

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    Thanks Yote,
    I like clownfish but will they do ok without a sea anemone? I was told I dont have enough light for an anemone. Thanks for your valued opinions.

    Eddie
     
    fasteddie, Jul 13, 2008
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  12. fasteddie

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

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    Clowns will do fine without the anemone.There only a 50/50 chance they would even use the anemone as a host any way.
     
    yote, Jul 13, 2008
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  13. fasteddie

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    Clownfish will do just fine without an anemone, and will be perfectly happy. It is not a good idea to add an anemone until your tank is at least 10 months old -- they are very difficult animals to keep.

    Six damsels is way way way too many. If the cycle doesn't kill them, they will end up killing each other, and any other fish you try to add. You shouldn't have to cycle a tank with live fish, there's no need to put their lives in danger. If you can catch them and take them back now, you might want to do so, at least it will save their lives.

    I had the same lights you have over my old 55 gallon tank. Since they are T5s, they were sufficient to keep any coral I wanted. I even kept an anemone. You would definitely be able to keep a brain. I have never heard of one color morph of brain being hardier than another. But like others have pointed out, you want to wait several months before trying a coral.
     
    Bifferwine, Jul 13, 2008
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