My 46g Bow Front Tank by Sakura2282

  1. Sakura2282

    Sakura2282 Reef lover!!!

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    Hello! Reefers and marine lovers,

    Is a pleasure to share with you the experiences I went through when setting up my first tank and yes, I started with a saltwater tank. I know most of the hobbyist in this hobby have had previous experience with freshwater tanks and then they started with saltwater tanks, but not in my case. I've never been attracted to freshwater tanks, but I love the sea and everything that have to do with it. And setting up this tank even when difficult and expensive have been very rewarding.

    Just sitting in front of it every day and watching my snails working hard in the tank and my fish enjoying the caves that I built in the rocks while I thought in how it would like them. Have been like a dream come true. I must say that It have been a lot of work and patience, but It was all worth it.

    I will share with you the equipment that I bought for it, the places where I found them, the websites that I have visited on the Internet and the problems that I went through during this long process.

    I'm not an expert in this hobby yet. It takes a life of experiences to become an expert in something. But I'm in the process of becoming one some day. I like being the best in the things that I love. It's part of who I am.

    I've been planning how to do this thread for quite a long time, and is gonna be a slow process. Hope you don't get bored reading it. I have already sorted my pictures and have and idea of how to show you all what I did, to finally built my first saltwater tank.

    Welcome to my journey :wave:
     

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    Sakura2282, Aug 18, 2013
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  2. Sakura2282

    stagofdoom Phi Kappa Psi

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    Looking good so far!
     
    stagofdoom, Aug 18, 2013
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  3. Sakura2282

    Sakura2282 Reef lover!!!

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    Tank and Stand

    I bought my tank in a local LFS. It was the biggest tank that I could afford at that moment, and I just love it. The tank was my first purchase when I decided to give it a try to this hobby. I remember going into the store with my brother the first time for curiosity and when I saw the saltwater fish and the corals I started to become more interested in them. That's how I ended up buying the tank a few months later.

    After I bought the tank and with the frenzy of the moment. I realized that I had forgotten that I'll needed a special stand for it. Unfortunately, there was nothing in the store for a tank that size and shape. So I went to the Internet and did a lot of search on google until I found the website of Drs. Forster and Smith. And when I saw they had the stand for my tank I was both happy and relief. I surfed the site and read the reviews about the stand. Then, I did some more search about the company because I'd never heard of them, but they are really good. Finally, I was very happy with my purchase.

    A good advice in this hobby is to look around a lot before you buy something. If you do it, you will find a lot of good deals in different places on the Internet. I'll also recommend to choose ground delivery every time you can and specially for big and heavy items because of the low fee they charge, and it usually arrives sooner than they say it will do.
     

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    Sakura2282, Aug 18, 2013
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  4. Sakura2282

    Sakura2282 Reef lover!!!

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    Thank you for those words. They help me to keep going :D.
     
    Sakura2282, Aug 18, 2013
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  5. Sakura2282

    Aquarian

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    Very nice
     
    Aquarian, Aug 18, 2013
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  6. Sakura2282

    reefnoob

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    It looks like a great start! Do you only have one fish so far?
     
    reefnoob, Aug 19, 2013
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  7. Sakura2282

    Sakura2282 Reef lover!!!

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    Thanks and yes. My fish doesn't have a month yet and I'm waiting for it to add a pair of blackclowns that my brother wants. I have no rush now lol. It makes me happy so far.
     
    Sakura2282, Aug 19, 2013
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  8. Sakura2282

    stagofdoom Phi Kappa Psi

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    The best advice for this hobby is dont rush anything, so youre definitely off to a good start on that.
     
    stagofdoom, Aug 19, 2013
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  9. Sakura2282

    Sakura2282 Reef lover!!!

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    Thanks! And It wasn't easy, but I'm so happy I've been patient lol.
     
    Sakura2282, Aug 19, 2013
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  10. Sakura2282

    Sakura2282 Reef lover!!!

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    Pukani Rocks

    One of the most important decisions I had to make, was choosing the rock for my tank. After a lot searching and reading I went with the Pukani Rock from BRS. I really liked the rock, the pieces they sent me were above my expectations. I wanted to be able to made some nice caves on them for my fish and I did. It was almost eight to ten hours of work, but worth it.

    These are some pictures of my rocks before they were what they are now.

    DSC02991.JPG DSC03005.JPG DSC03045.JPG Trio.jpg 2013-08-07 18.56.20.jpg

    These rocks have a lot day off on them because of this they need to be cured properly. To have the rocks ready for my aquarium I put them in my tank with saltwater, a powerhead and a heater. Then I covered the tank with some blankets to avoid the light from reaching it. And finally, I left them like that for a month. When doing these process I bought my API test kit and did some tests to the water every two days. I never changed the water during this process maybe some people do, but I didn't.

    A month later, when I believe my nitrites when down, the water was turned from a clear color to a green/yellow, and the smell was really strong too. I took them out of the water. And because the smell was still on my tank I cleaned it with a mix of fresh water and vinegar. I left it like that for a few minutes and then washed out the tank with a lot fresh water.

    Then, I used the saltwater that I had already prepared to fill the tank again. I also wash the rock with the new saltwater before I put them back.
     
    Sakura2282, Aug 20, 2013
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  11. Sakura2282

    AnthonyTheNewbie

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    Nice tank :)
     
    AnthonyTheNewbie, Aug 20, 2013
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  12. Sakura2282

    Sakura2282 Reef lover!!!

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    Powerheads:

    I have a Hydor Koralia Circulation and Wave Pump 1150 gph in my tank for flow and I must say that it'is really good. It was hard for me at the beginning to place it in the right spot. I remember my sand bed been disturbing by the flow and having dead spots in the tank too, but not anymore.

    Thanks to the many questions that people post on this forum and the great answers, I was able to find out what a dead spot is :mrgreen:. I found mine, after watching the places in my tank where the detritus were accumulating.

    The movement on the water surface is very important to keep the oxygen levels in the tank. For that reason, before having my HOB filter I used to move the head of my powerhead, just to let the flow reach the surface. I noticed, that when It has a good movement on it, the PH goes up.
     

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    Sakura2282, Aug 22, 2013
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  13. Sakura2282

    Sakura2282 Reef lover!!!

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    RO/DI System:

    This is one of the best investments that anyone who wants to start in this hobby have to think in making. It was one of my expensive purchases but If you are planning being in this hobby more than a year, you should buy one. I believe that making your own pure water is better than having to purchase it from a LFS or any other place.

    One of the thoughts that made me buy it was that I don't have a sump so I have to do weekly water changes of 10% to keep my tank running. By the way, you need good water pressure so it can reach its potential of 75 gallons of pure water per day.

    As you can see for the pictures, the set up for the RO/DI system I have is very simple nothing fancy, just a bucket for the pure water. But I have two large bins to store the water from the bucket. The unit came ready to use so I just needed to connect the red line into my water supply, the black line to the sink drain and the blue line that's the pure water goes into the bucket.

    Note: I bought it during a holiday sale especial, so I saved 10% of the total price.

    The BRS 5 Stage PLUS Reverse Osmosis/Deionization System includes all the essential features necessary to start making pure RO/DI water at 75 gallons per day. Plus an air-filled pressure gauge, membrane flush kit and Dual Inline TDS meter.

    5 Stages of Filtration:
    Purtrex 5 micron depth sediment filter
    MATRIKX CTO/2 5 micron carbon block
    MATRIKX+1 0.6 micron carbon block
    75 GPD Dow Filmtec Membrane
    Single Deionization(DI) stage with refillable cartridge

    BRS 5 Stage PLUS RO/DI System - 75GPD - Bulk Reef Supply
     

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    Sakura2282, Aug 22, 2013
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  14. Sakura2282

    Aquarian

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    Your tank is looking good. What lights are you running?
     
    Aquarian, Aug 22, 2013
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  15. Sakura2282

    Sakura2282 Reef lover!!!

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    Lights:

    During my research I found that lights are one of the most important things you need to grow corals. In one of the LFS that I visited they sell the coraline actinic lights, the marineland reef capable, and the aqueon led aqurium light. They all were pretty expensive. The most expensive were the Marineland Reef Capable for $500. I came home I look for those lights because they come with the moonlights plus the timer. I found them for only $226 so I saved money and bought them.

    I have no idea if they are good for SPS or LPS, but I can tell you that they're really bright, the timer is easy to set up and my tank looks great with them. The lights reach the bottom of the tank pretty well.

    They came preprogrammed, but It was too much light for the tank, and I was having problems with algae blooms, so I changed it.

    My program is this:

    Blue LEDs only at 8:00 AM
    Blue and White LEDs at 9:00 AM
    Blue LEDs only (white off) at 7:00 PM
    All LEDs OFF at 8:00 PM

    These are the specifications of the lights:

    Marineland's Reef LED Lighting System with Integrated Timer give you full control of the daytime and lunar light cycle. Marineland has managed to get in almost twice as many LED's as the Double Bright LED system. Flexible mounting system allows the adjustable mounting legs to adjust to a variety of aquarium widths.

    New Integrated Timer - Controls Daytime & Lunar Settings
    50,000 Lifetime Hours - 10,000K White & 460nm Actinic Blue LED's
    Energy Efficient 1 Watt LED's doesnt require bulb replacement
    LEDs Mimics underwater “shimmer” effect of natural sunlight and lunar settings
    Reef LED Adjustable Light Fixtures - WITH TIMER:
    Adjusts 18" - 24" - (18) White 1 Watt LEDs & (3) Blue 1 Watt LEDs - 1305 Lumens
    Adjusts 24" - 36" - (23) White 1 Watt LEDs & (4) Blue 1 Watt LEDs - 1670 Lumens
    Adjusts 36" - 48" - (36) White 1 Watt LEDs & (6) Blue 1 Watt LEDs - 2610 Lumens
    Adjusts 48" - 60" - (46) White 1 Watt LEDs & (8) Blue 1 Watt LEDs - 3340 Lumens

    LED Reef Hoods have the correct spectral output and intensity for Reef Aquariums. Integrated heat sink incorporates an innovative aluminum housing that pulls heat away from the LED's and aquarium. Specifically designed polycarbonate lens to maximize light penetration within the aquarium. Optimized for use in reef aquariums.

    Marineland Reef Capable LED Lighting System - WITH TIMER Aquarium LED Light Fixtures

    I have a glass lid on my tank, that helps me with the evaporation and also to protect the lights from the water. The lights don't cause overheat in the tank. The top of the lights can get very hot, but not where the led lights are locate. Thanks to this, I haven't had problems with keeping stable the temperature in the tank.
     

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    Last edited: Aug 22, 2013
    Sakura2282, Aug 22, 2013
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  16. Sakura2282

    Sakura2282 Reef lover!!!

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    More pictures...
     

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    Sakura2282, Aug 22, 2013
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  17. Sakura2282

    stagofdoom Phi Kappa Psi

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    Looking real good so far!
     
    stagofdoom, Aug 22, 2013
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  18. Sakura2282

    tooned out

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    Your tank is looking great Sakura. I am just starting out also so it is very helpful to read your thread also.
     
    tooned out, Aug 22, 2013
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  19. Sakura2282

    Sakura2282 Reef lover!!!

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    Thank you both for your words of support. It hasn't been easy, but just looking at it makes me feel proud of myself and very happy.
     
    Sakura2282, Aug 22, 2013
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  20. Sakura2282

    Sakura2282 Reef lover!!!

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    Filtration.

    I bought an Emperor 400 HOB filter because I didn't have enough money for a skimmer and even knowing they were nitrates factory I took the risk. But, so far I've learned how to deal with it. I clean it every two weeks (only if I know that I didn't overfeed my fish) or every week. I don't have the money for a HOB skimmer but I want the Reef Octopus 1000 HOB. I do not have a sump.

    I have some dry rock rubble curing to put in the Emperor to help with the filtration. And I bought 20 more pounds of rock that are waiting to be cured. I definitely need more rock in my tank.

    I like the amount of water that the emperor moves in the tank it helps a lot because I only have one powerhead, still waiting to buy the other one.

    If you keep it clean you will avoid the massive algae outbreaks. I test my parameters (ammonia, nitrite, nitrates, PH, salinity) frequently to make sure they are were they are supposed to.
     

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    Sakura2282, Aug 29, 2013
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